Montgomery County sent out a press release today regarding the status of the West Valley Green Bridge that has been closed since March 14th. According to the release, there is a plan underway to get the bridge back open on a temporary basis until the replacement takes place. The temporary opening could occur by the spring of 2019.
Here is the complete update from the county:
Montgomery County’s engineers have completed the design work and the county is seeking bids for a project to once again temporarily re-open the West Valley Green Road Bridge over the Wissahickon Creek in Whitemarsh Township.
The steel truss bridge was built in 1884 and it has been closed and reopened a number of times in recent years. It was most recently closed on March 14, 2018.
The County has attempted to reopen the bridge to restrict overweight vehicles from crossing it, but those attempts failed when numerous large vehicles ignored the warnings and collided with structures built at the approaches to the bridge.
In addition to bolstering the structure of the bridge to the point where PennDOT will permit weight-restricted traffic to cross, the project calls for additional barriers, signage and other traffic control measures to prevent oversize vehicles from crossing, and damaging, the bridge.
Depending on the timing of reviews and by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) an other regulatory agencies, and getting a stretch of decent weather, it is expected the bridge would re-open in Spring 2019.
In the meantime, our work to permanently replace the bridge does continue. However, the Federal process to replace or rebuild a bridge deemed historic continues to take a significant amount of time. The bridge is currently under review by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
It is hoped that preliminary engineering for replacement of the bridge can be completed by March, 2020, at which time final engineering and design for the replacement bridge would begin prior to construction.
The federal government is funding 80 percent of the cost for the bridge replacement, the state is providing 15 percent of the funds and Montgomery County is providing 5 percent.