Work to replace the structurally deficient PA 61 “Mady’s” bridges (one over Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad in the City of Pottsville and Palo Alto Borough, and the other over the Schuylkill River in the City of Pottsville) in Schuylkill County is set to begin. The project also includes bridge roadway approach work on PA 61 in North Manheim Township.
 
On Jan. 16 and 17 motorists will experience daytime lane restrictions on PA 61 south while the contractor performs tree trimming and tree removal work. Then approximately four-to-six weeks later utility line relocation work will occur prior to the commencement of major bridge construction. 
 
Motorists should expect possible traffic restrictions on PA 61 north or south during this project, and are advised to allow for extra time and use caution when traveling through the area (the project limits are between Bacon Street and US 209/Mauch Chunk Street).
 
There will be a long-term lane restriction on PA 61 south during the demolition and construction of both bridges, while both travel lanes on PA 61 north will remain open for the majority of the time. A temporary traffic signal will also be installed at the intersection of PA 61 and Bacon Street (this signal will be removed at the completion of the project).
 
Updates will be provided whenever traffic patterns change.
 
Work includes replacing both bridges, reconstructing roadway approaches, installing new guiderail and line paint, and other miscellaneous construction. 
 
Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. of State College, Pa. is the general contractor on the $10,568,416 project to replace both bridges. The project is expected to be complete in August 2017.
 
The old PA 61 Bridge over Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad is a four span concrete encased steel I-beam bridge that was constructed in 1950. It is 314 feet long and 64 feet wide. The new PA 61 Bridge over Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad will be a 210 feet long, 63 feet 10 inch wide, two span concrete bulb-tee beam bridge.
 
The PA 61 Bridge over the Schuylkill River is a single span steel I-beam bridge that was constructed in 1950. It is 79 feet long and 62 feet wide. The new PA 61 Bridge over the Schuylkill River will be a 100 feet long, 62 feet six inch wide, single span concrete bulb-tee beam bridge.
 
This section of PA 61 has an average daily traffic volume of 17,936 vehicles.