Pruss Hill Bridge Surveys Complete; Design Begins

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Field survey work for a new and long-awaited bridge on Pruss Hill Road, authorized by Lower Pottsgrove’s Board of Commissioners, is already complete. Now township engineers, McCarthy Engineering Associates Inc., are beginning its design phase, company President Jim McCarthy reported Monday night (Oct. 4, 2021) to board members.

McCarthy said the design effort, along with obtaining required permits and outside agency approvals, probably will take until Spring 2022. The weather should be acceptable then, he added, to start construction.

Like its predecessor on Rupert Road, the pre-engineered Pruss Hill bridge will be delivered in sections and assembled on site, according to McCarthy. That capability allows foundation work to be done in advance, and speeds the construction process, the township has indicated in the past. It also limits the amount of time Pruss Hill or other roads around the bridge-in-progress may need to be closed and detoured, if at all.

The board in March accepted a Montgomery County Transportation Program grant of $196,800 to cover a majority of the $246,000 cost of replacing the one-lane bridge, which currently is limited to vehicles of only 5 of fewer tons. The county grant remains available through June 2023.

The township will cover the 20-percent remainder, $49,200, primarily using in-kind services to remove the existing bridge provided in labor and machinery from its Public Works Department, township Manager Ed Wagner said. If necessary, other money to pay unforeseen costs is likely to be drawn from federal American Rescue Fund grants, he said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation earlier said it would consider straightening the connection to, and intersection between, Pruss Hill and Bleim roads once the bridge is replaced. The state has already received a right of way to accomplish that task.

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