Work begins on final bridge in Pennsylvania rapid bridge replacement project

The four-year-long public-private partnership will have completed 558 bridges when work is finished

July 30, 2019
Pennsylvania rapid bridge replacement program; Coleman Road (State Route 2006) over CSX (Western Maryland Railroad) in Straban Township, Adams County
Bridge carrying Coleman Road (State Route 2006) over CSX (Western Maryland Railroad) in Straban Township, Adams County; courtesy PWKP

The Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) along with its rapid bridge replacement (RBR) project development partner, Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP), recently began construction on the 558th and final bridge in the public-private partnership (P3) program.

At present, seven bridges in the program remain under construction. Crews began work this month on the final bridge, which carries Coleman Road (State Route 2006) over CSX (Western Maryland Railroad) in Straban Township, Adams County. Construction on the bridge is expected to finish up in the fall.

“We are excited to begin work on the final bridge of this innovative P3 project,” Ed Dice, Head of Delivery, Plenary Group, said in a news release. “Beginning construction on the 558th bridge is a significant milestone that highlights years of hard work on the PA RBR project. The partnering approach between PWKP and PennDOT has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in completing the few remaining bridges in this first-of-its-kind program.”

The $899 million RBR project began construction in 2015 and enabled PennDOT to replace 558 of its bridges in poor condition more quickly, while simultaneously minimizing impacts on motorists, in an effort to cut down on the state's aging bridge inventory. PWKP is financing, designing, constructing, and maintaining the bridges in the program for a 25-year period beyond completion.

PennDOT announced in December that over 500 of the structures in the program had been completed. Progress on the RBR project since January 2015 has led to an increase in state-maintained bridges in good and fair condition. Overall, the number of state-owned bridges in poor condition has dropped to fewer than 3,000 from a high of more than 6,000 in 2008.

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NEWS & IMAGE SOURCE: Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners

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