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Why has Route 11 in western Cumberland County been closed for so long? When will it reopen?

Western Cumberland County residents inconvenienced by the closure of Route 11 near Stoughstown will have to get used to it: according to PennDOT, the road likely won’t reopen until almost Thanksgiving.

The closure is due to a Route 11 bridge replacement over a drainage swale directly south of Big Spring between Stoughstown and Big Spring roads at the North Newton and South Newton township line, a PennDOT news release said.

Also known as Ritner Highway, that section of Route 11 has an average daily traffic volume of more than 2,900 vehicles per day, PennDOT said. It is expected to be closed until Nov. 23.

PennDOT’s recommended detour uses Route 233 and Route 174 to take vehicles on Interstate 81 past the closed portion of Route 11. However, that section of Route 11 typically serves as the main alternative route if there is a road closure or traffic jam on I-81.

The project involves replacing an 82-year-old, single-span concrete slab structure with a precast concrete box culvert, PennDOT said. It is part of a $1.04 million contract being completed by Bedford County-based Cottle’s Asphalt Maintenance.

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That contract also includes the replacement of a bridge that carries Route 174 over the Yellow Breeches Creek near Walnut Bottom. That portion of Route 174 may require a detour for 85 days in spring 2020, PennDOT said.

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Daniel Walmer covers public safety for The Sentinel. You can reach him by email at dwalmer@cumberlink.com or by phone at 717-218-0021.

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