Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that tomorrow afternoon, October 16, crews will open one lane of traffic on the Route 372 Norman Wood Bridge over the Susquehanna River between Lancaster and York counties.
The condition of the bridge has been assessed, and on an engineering basis – while the girder on the north side of the bridge is under repair – one lane of traffic can be safely supported on the south side of the bridge, away from the damaged girder.
“Our priority has been to repair the bridge, and do it safely” said Mike Keiser, the district executive for PennDOT Engineering District 8 which covers south central Pennsylvania, “but we’ve also had a goal to restore the bridge to limited use as soon as possible in order to lessen the hardship that the bridge closure has created for people who depend on this river crossing.”
PennDOT will open a 9-foot-wide travel lane in the vicinity of the bridge pier where the girder repair is underway. Temporary traffic signals will control the alternate directions of traffic.
PennDOT advises travelers that only vehicles weighing less than 5 tons and less than 8-feet wide will be permitted to cross the bridge. Larger vehicles must continue to seek an alternate route or follow the official signed detour that directs traffic south into Maryland to the U.S. 1 Conowingo Road Bridge over the Susquehanna River at the Conowingo Dam.
The Norman Wood Bridge has been closed to all traffic since the afternoon of September 28, after bridge inspectors discovered a large vertical crack in a steel girder on the north side of the bridge. The bridge is a two-lane, 21-span structure that was built in 1968 and carries on average a little more than 4,300 vehicles a day. PennDOT’s contractor – J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pa. – began working on repairs on October 5 and should complete them by early November.