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Pennsylvania

Number of deficient bridges in Pennsylvania cut in half over the past decade by PennDOT, public-private partnership

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 2:24 p.m.
Work being done Monday, July 20, 2015, on West Cruikshank Road in Middlesex in Butler County is part of a public-private partnership between the state and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Work being done Monday, July 20, 2015, on West Cruikshank Road in Middlesex in Butler County is part of a public-private partnership between the state and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners.
Motorists work their way around reconstruction of the Ripple Road bridge in White Oak in 2015. The public-private partnership working on the bridge still anticipates completion by mid-November.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Trib Total Media
Motorists work their way around reconstruction of the Ripple Road bridge in White Oak in 2015. The public-private partnership working on the bridge still anticipates completion by mid-November.

In 2008, Pennsylvania had more than 6,000 state-owned bridges rated “structurally deficient.”

Today, that number has been cut in half, to 3,098, including repairs and replacements on more than 1,600 bridges between 2015 and 2017, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announced Wednesday.

A large chunk of that progress has come through the state's public-private partnership, the Rapid Bridge Replacement project, under which 558 bridges total will be replaced using prefabricated designs.

As of Wednesday, 390 of those 558 bridges are complete, with 50 under construction and 20 more expected to get under way by the end of the month.

“We are making significant investments in bridges across the state to enhance safety and commerce,” Richards said. “This project complements our robust program by further reducing our number of structurally deficient bridges.”

In Westmoreland County, 11 of 21 bridges are complete, and in Allegheny, 34 of 52 are finished, according to the project website. Many more are in progress but have been reopened to traffic.

In Murrysville, both the Route 366 bridge over Pucketa Creek and the Hills Church Road bridge over Turtle Creek have been completed.

The “P3” project, which largely targets the small, creek-spanning bridges so common through the state's rolling hills and vallleys, is being managed by Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, a consortium of local and national companies that are involved at all levels of the process.

Plenary Group Head of Delivery Ed Dice said the consortium is honored to be working on the $899 million project, which PennDOT officials said is the largest of its kind in the nation.

“Together, we have taken an innovative approach to finance, replace and maintain more than 500 bridges across Pennsylvania, and this approach is being closely followed in the global infrastructure community,” Dice said.

For more about the project, including regular progress updates, see PARapidBridges.com .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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