Berks

$42.5 million rehab of Penn Street Bridge enters 2nd year

Project set for completion in December 2019

READING, Pa. - A $42.5 million rehabilitation of the more than century-old Penn Street Bridge in Reading is now a third of the way complete.

The three-year project entered its second year Wednesday, with dozens of workers on the job, braving a wind-chill temperature of just above freezing.

In the year since they began their work on December 5, 2016, a large amount of crumbling concrete has been removed and a steal beam has been erected along the bridge's northern side.

The bridge, which carries an average of nearly 34,000 vehicles over the Schuylkill River and Front Street each day, has been reduced to one lane of eastbound travel since May 8, when the Route 422 West ramp from the West Shore Bypass also closed. That pattern is set to remain in place until the fall of 2019.

A westbound lane of the bridge is also periodically closed for work.

The project includes repairing the crumbling concrete and replacing the span's superstructure and sidewalks. Ornamental lighting will also be added.

The project is scheduled for completion in December 2019.

The 27-span concrete arch bridge has served as downtown Reading's primary gateway from the city's western suburbs since it was constructed in 1913.


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