Wolf Bridge in Middlesex Township has been closed for six years, but Cumberland County on Thursday said it hopes to have it open to traffic by fall 2020.
The county commissioners said that pre-construction work for the bridge’s replacement is nearing completion. The county has secured utility approvals, acquired right-of-way and submitted final bridge engineering plans to PennDOT for review.
The county said it intends to seek bids on the construction contract this fall, with the goal to open the new bridge next fall.
“Our residents have been extremely patient during this long and at times frustrating process,” commissioner Vince DiFilippo said. “We are patiently working with our partners at the state and federal levels and look forward to bidding this project later this year. The final completion date still remains the fall of 2020.”
The bridge was closed in September 2013 when an annual inspection revealed extensive deterioration, according to the county. The 192-foot steel truss bridge was constructed in 1895 and had a 10-ton weight limit. It had carried an estimated 2,000 vehicles a day over the Conodoguinet Creek.
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“There have been many complexities which have led to the long engineering time frame,” said Kirk Stoner, Cumberland County planning director. “The Wolf Bridge project has truly been a challenge to deliver with impacts to historic and natural resources and changes in funding formulas.”
The county said it has been working with PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Historic and Museum Commission and the Federal Highway Administration to develop plans for the bridge’s replacement. The estimated $3 million construction cost will be entirely funded by federal funds.
The Wolf Bridge project is part of the county’s Bridge Capital Improvement Plan that included more than $30 million of bridge replacement or repair projects on all of its 28 county-owned bridges.
Only nine bridge projects remain unfinished, and the last projects are scheduled for completion in fall 2020.