Centre County bridge to be replaced after being closed for over a year 

After being closed for over a year, the Lower Georges Valley Road Bridge was removed last week, but Gregg Township residents should not expect the project to be completed until the end of the year.

The 23-foot bridge, which is located at the 1000 block of Lower Georges Valley Road and spans Muddy Creek, was closed in January 2018 after a failed post-flood inspection.

“The process for the bridge replacement has been very long and somewhat more complicated than it seems it should be,” Gregg Township Surpervisor Keri Miller wrote in an email. “So, we are all very excited to see actual physical progress happening. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the bridge is expected to be usable by the end of November.”

Miller thinks residents of the township and the greater Penns Valley community will be relieved when the route is open for traffic.

Drivers have been instructed to use a detour, using Hartner Road, Upper Georges Valley Road and Cooper Street/Penns Creek Road.

During a February 2018 supervisors meeting, Larson Design Group Director of Bridge Safety Inspections and Maintenance Kurt Brungard said that while the township made efforts to repair the bridge for years, post-flood damage was “too severe and hazardous for traffic,” which resulted in its closure.

Miller said the total cost of the project is upward of about $2 million.

Marla Fannin, PennDOT press officer, said funding for the bridge replacement is split — 80% federal funds, 15% from the state and 5% local funding. Work will be done by Rylind Construction Company, Inc. of Lewisberry for a contracted amount of $774,653.

PennDOT has oversight of the project, with the replacement constructed to PennDOT specifications, Fannin said. PennDOT will inspect the structure before it opens to traffic. Fannin said PennDOT expects to open the bridge to traffic by the end of this year, with the possibility of final paving in spring 2020, if not sooner.

Marley Parish reports on local government for the Centre Daily Times. She grew up in Slippery Rock and graduated from Allegheny College.