Thousands of motorists on Route 16 west of Greencastle are seeing shorter drive-times with last week's opening of both lanes of the bridge over the east branch of the Conococheague Creek.
One 11-foot-wide lane of travel controlled by traffic lights over the span in Antrim Township slowed travel since late March, when work demolish and replace the bridge superstructure started.
Before that, vehicles were diverted to the newer, outside portions of the bridge for more than a year after problems were discovered with the 1941 decking in the center in late 2016 and the decision was made to replace the bridge.
The $2.3 million project, with Cottle’s Asphalt Maintenance Inc. of Everett, Bedford County as the contractor, included removing and replacing the 77-year-old structurally deficient concrete deck and steel I-beam superstructure, drainage improvements, approach slab and pavement reconstruction and new guardrails, signs and pavement markings.
The westbound side of the bridge was torn down and replaced first, then work on the eastbound side started in August.
"They put forth a good effort," said Alan High, county construction manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
About 11,800 vehicles travel that stretch of Route 16 daily and High said they now have "free rein of the roadway."
Greg Penny, PennDOT spokesman, said there may be some minor traffic disruptions with flaggers controlling traffic for the placement of topsoil and seeding that was delayed last week by rain.
In addition to the Antrim Township bridge, work has wrapped up two other PennDOT projects: the Memorial Bridge, which carries Route 16 over the west branch of Antietam Creek between the Borough of Waynesboro and Washington Township, which started in July 2017; and the U.S. 11 bridge north of Chambersburg near Red Bridge Roller Rink.