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Clear Creek Bridge Re-Opens Months Ahead of Schedule
March 17, 2014
HEATH TOWNSHIP- The new bridge carrying Route 949 over Clear Creek near Clear Creek State Park in Heath Township opened to traffic by the end of the day, Friday, March 14, months ahead of schedule. 

The old bridge was closed after being damaged in the flood of June 27and reopened less than a year later. The flooding caused major structural damage to the bridge’s foundation.  The original projected opening date was Memorial Day.

House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson, Armstrong, Indiana) said, “Less than 9 months ago that bridge was washed out by a flood. And while some people thought that we should have just put some pipes in and cover it with dirt and figure out how to rebuild the bridge down the road… we forged ahead with PennDOT and the local government people to get this bridge rebuilt over the winter. 

The closure of this roadway and resulting detours on local roads had a severe impact on individuals and small businesses throughout the area.   Shortly after the flooding occurred, local elected officials pushed for an accelerated construction schedule in order to get the bridge repaired as soon as possible.
Smith said, “From the beginning, my priority in asking PennDOT to expedite this project was so our first responders could provide timely responses to residents’ emergency needs; that our school districts could bus our children in a safe manner; and that the businesses that drive this local economy could open for the upcoming tourist season without worrying about access,” Smith noted. “It wasn’t easy, especially for the residents. I appreciate their patience and am happy that we were able to accomplish the aggressive timetable to make the early opening a reality.”

The detour that has been in place has been lifted and the new bridge is now open although construction will continue over the next several months and should be fully completed by the end of May.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said he is very happy the bridge has reopened. He said, “Ensuring that area residents have access to safe and reliable transportation infrastructure is a crucial role of government, and I’m pleased that funding was able to be secured last August for this emergency project. The rapid work at advancing this project has been due in large part to the outstanding collaboration between PennDOT, local officials, state officials and area agencies.”

This $1,105,456 emergency bridge replacement project was constructed by M and B Services, LLC.
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