Interstate 78 Lenhartsville bridge in Greenwich Township

HARRISBURG, Pa. — PennDOT has begun accepting public comment regarding its plan to replace Interstate 78's Lenhartsville bridge in Berks County, a project that would be paid for by tolling motorists who traverse the span.

The aging bridge carries I-78 across Route 143 and Maiden Creek in Greenwich Township. PennDOT said it is in poor structural condition and does not meet its current design standards.

The proposal involves replacing the existing bridge with a wider span that would accommodate auxiliary lanes and full inside and outside shoulders in each direction.

PennDOT's major bridge public-private partnership initiative calls for collecting tolls to pay for the bridge's construction, maintenance, and operation.

That plan, which involves eight other bridges in Pennsylvania, has been met with opposition from several elected officials as well as highway construction firms and members of the trucking industry. PennDOT has said that trucks account for 30% of the Lenhartsville bridge traffic.

A virtual public meeting on the project will take place on PennDOT's website until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 24. Those who are interested in sharing their feedback about the plan can submit an online comment. They can also find information about the project's design plans, environmental studies, tolling proposal, and work schedule.

An in-person open house will be held on Nov. 1 from 4 until 7 p.m. at the Kempton Community Center in Albany Township.

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