County Closed New Hanover Lutheran Road Bridge Monday

NEW HANOVER PA – The Lutheran Road bridge over Minister Creek in New Hanover Township, which is scheduled for replacement in June, was closed to traffic Monday (April 18, 2022) by Montgomery County’s Department of Assets and Infrastructure after it failed a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation safety inspection, the county reported.

Drivers headed for Bridge 163, as it’s known, will be detoured under “already approved plans” issued by PennDOT and the township, according to the county. The inspection determined the bridge “cannot safely remain open” because PennDOT found it “to be deteriorated below the threshold for continued vehicle use,” the county said.

The county did not provide the detour route, or a link to it.

The bridges on Lutheran Road, North Charlotte Street, Swamp Pike, and New Hanover Square Road, and the timing of their proposed replacements, all have been the subject of months of contention between the township, the county, and PennDOT, documented at length by reporter Evan Brandt of The Mercury and correspondent Candace Perry of Town and Country. Read Perry’s latest article here.

County Closed New Hanover Lutheran Road Bridge Monday

The township simply confirmed the closure on its “Recent News” webpage, and referred all questions to the county Roads and Bridges office at 610-278-3613. Its notice was accompanied by an aerial map of the area with a hand-drawn overlay (at top and above) to help the public locate the affected area.

The county is scheduled to begin construction June 20 on the bridge’s planned replacement. The bridge’s current condition, it noted, “dictates inspection every three months, with additional inspections added in the event of storm damage.” The new bridge “is scheduled to be completed and reopened in September,” the county added.

Photo from New Hanover Township