One proposed vision for a new Rupert Road bridge in Lower Pottsgrove, with a stone-like facade
SANATOGA PA – Lower Pottsgrove leaders Monday (April 7, 2014) not only heard about progress in the potential replacement of the deteriorating Rupert Road bridge, on the township’s east side near its border with Limerick, they had a chance to envision it, too.
A second, less-adorned proposal for Rupert Road
Sanatoga-based Bursich Associates’ engineering firm President Scott Exley distributed to members of the Board of Commissioners before-and-after photo renderings that showed how a new bridge might look, and indicated an agreement with Montgomery County covering its design, funding, ownership and future maintenance may be months, not years, away.
The more than 90-years-old crumbling concrete bridge across Hartenstine Creek has been placed on state and national transportation lists as a “structurally deficient” and worrisome span. It’s seen increasing traffic in recent years, as more drivers use the road as a thoroughfare to and from the Sanatoga interchange of U.S. Route 422.
The township and county have talked since last December about how replacing the bridge, currently owned by the county, might be moved higher on project priority lists. Lower Pottsgrove has $325,000 already set aside to pay for the work, but that’s about half the $550,000 to $650,000 needed, Exley estimated. The county has said it might cover the remaining cost if the township is willing to own the bridge.
Those discussions have gone well so far, Exley added. The county is in the process of writing a draft agreement that addresses how township funds will be used, the county’s responsibility for design and construction, and how and when ownership would change hands. The document could soon be ready for commissioners’ review.
Engineers have been busy researching their replacement options, and have tentatively decided on using what is known as a Con/Span-brand bridge system of modular pre-cast concrete components that could be created off-site and – once the old bridge is removed – set in place within a shortened period.
Exley presented two photos showing what he called the bridge’s “aesthetics,” one unadorned and utilitarian, the second with a stone-like facade. Specifications and detail sheets have already been supplied by the bridge’s Ohio manufacturer, Contech Construction Products Inc., and it and Bursich have discussed the scope of work and accompanying federal regulations.
The current state of the bridge
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ April 7 meeting):
Photos from Bursich Associates