Penns Valley motorists got some good news last week from the state Department of Transportation.
PennDOT officials have opened a bridge on Penn Street/Coburn Road outside Coburn that has been closed since mid-May for replacement.
Officials said work on the project wrapped up a month ahead of schedule, news that was no doubt warmly welcomed by residents.
Those who take the bridge had been subjected to a detour that used Woodward Cave Road and state Route 45.
The bridge spans Elk Creek between Coburn and Millheim, and is used by 730 vehicles per day on average, PennDOT officials said.
Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., of State College, was the contractor for the $1.2 million project.
Officials said that the bridge replacement provides a more modern structure and will give drivers a safer, more efficient passage.
The replacement means there is now one less structurally deficient bridge in the county.
The state boasts the third highest number of bridges in the nation, but leads the country in the number of structures classified as “structurally deficient,” according to PennDOT’s website.
“Being rated structurally deficient does not mean that a bridge is unsafe; rather, it means that it has deterioration to one or more of its major components,” officials said on the website. “Although deterioration is present, a structurally deficient bridge is safe.”
Matt Carroll writes about news from the Penns and Brush Valley regions. He can be reached at 231-4631 or mcarroll@centre daily.com.