Saturday, September 11, 2021

$1.3M Bid to Replace Congo Road Bridge Awarded

Mercury File Photo
The existing Congo Road bridge over Middle Screek will be replaced by fall of 2022, according to a PennDOT announcement.

Blogger's Note:
The following is re-published primarily from the weekly newsletter of state Rep. Tracy Pennycuick, R-147th Dist.

PennDOT has awarded a $1.27 million contract to H&K Group Inc. of Skippack  to replace the bridge that carries Congo Road over Middle Creek in Douglass (Mont.) Township.

Due to the nature of the repairs, the bridge will be closed and detoured to traffic during construction. Congo Road motorists will be directed to follow the posted detour route.

Work on this project is expected to finish in fall 2022.

Under this contract, PennDOT will remove and replace the existing two-span reinforced concrete slab bridge, built in 1923, with a single-span prestressed spread box beam bridge. 

A portion of the replacement structure will be set aside for a future pedestrian/bicycle trail which Douglass Township indicated it hopes to construct in the future. A 10-foot-wide pathway will be provided crossing the bridge, separated from traffic by a concrete barrier and rail.

Mercury File Photo
A pick-up truck crosses the Congo Road bridge
over Middle Creek.
The proposed “Congo-Gilbertsville Trail” is on the Douglass Township Open Space Plan and is intended to connect to a future countywide trail system and connect to the “Middle Creek Trail” that is planned to run along Middle Creek. At the township’s request, the extra width to accommodate the trail will be provided at the upstream side of the bridge so that a connection to the township open space can be made.

Township Supervisors made the decision back in 2014 that they would take over maintenance of the bridge in exchange for including the passage for the as-yet unbuilt trail.

PennDOT agreed to replace the bridge, but said it would only add the trail passageway if  the township agreed to take over ownership, and thus maintenance responsibility, of the bridge. The supervisors at the time, John Stasik, Anthony Kuklinski and Fred Ziegler, unanimously agreed to do so.

That was the recommendation of the township's open space committee whose chairman at the time was Josh Stouch, who is now the chairmen of the township board of supervisors.

John Sartor, the township engineer at the time, said the bridge's lifespan would be 80 to 100 years and that maintenance costs would not begin to come about for at least 10 years.

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