Drivers Can Act On East High Street Bridge

SANATOGA PA – Drivers who are worried about the deteriorating state of the East High Street bridge between Sunnybrook and Porter roads might be able to get it fixed faster than they realize, and it could take only minutes to start the ball rolling.

All that’s necessary is to complete an online form, supplied by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. It’ll cost you nothing but three minutes …  less time than waiting in line for a burger at a fast food joint. Depending on the restaurant, maybe a lot less.

The Post last Monday (Dec. 14, 2015) reported on concerns it heard from drivers who regularly use the bridge that crosses Sprogel’s Run near Sunnybrook Ballroom, between Lower Pottsgrove and Pottstown. It showed loose blocks and crumbling mortar, and described cracks in the asphalt roadbed that prompted e-mails about the bridge’s stability. PennDOT, which inspected the bridge during April, considers it safe.

lower pottsgrove township: Drivers Can Act On East High Street Bridge

The closer you get to the asphalt problems on the East High Street bridge, the deeper they look

A closer look Sunday (Dec. 20) at the asphalt demonstrated why some motorists fear what they see. A crack in the westbound lane begins, small at first, from Sunnybrook Road and travels across the bridge towards the borough. It gets wider and deeper the further it spreads.

Just past the bridge’s mid-point, the crack becomes a gash about 3 inches wide and 1-1/2 inches deep, seemingly going down to the top of the bridge’s concrete deck. The concrete looks like it’s crumbling slightly. A portion of the west lane’s entire surface even looks like it’s sinking.

Looking west from Sunnybrook Road across the East High Street bridge toward Pottstown. That's the hospital at top left; the seemingly sinking roadway at bottom right

Looking west from Sunnybrook Road across the East High Street bridge toward Pottstown. That’s the hospital at top left; the seemingly sinking roadway at bottom right

The potential solution is waiting at what PennDOT District 6 engineers, whose offices are in King of Prussia, call their “Customer Care Center.”

The agency describes the center as an online “a portal for the residents of Pennsylvania to submit their concerns,” and it qualifies concerns as “something that requires PennDOT attention for resolution such as potholes, drainage issues, or deer carcass removal.” That’s OK, if you think of the asphalt crack as one looooong pothole.

The form requires commenters to supply their first and last names, their address, and then to describe the nature of the problem. Consider giving your e-mail address as well. Don’t be shy; that’s how PennDOT may contact you to follow-up.

If you believe, however, that the bridge’s condition represents a safety concern that rises to the level of what PennDOT calls “missing signs or (a) roadway hazard,” you can contact it toll-free by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD. Operators there will put you in touch with the agency’s Montgomery County maintenance office, and you can talk with employees directly.

Either method gives drivers the chance to be heard. If enough local residents speak their minds, we’ll be happy to report next on how the community fixed the bridge.