Monday, June 2, 2008
PennDOT crews began working today to repair the Birmingham Bridge which was damaged when a 60-foot pier shifted this winter. Problems began February 8 when the superstructure on the southbound lanes shifted downward and, after inspection, it was determined the bridge pier had moved as well. PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi says there was no way to predict the bridge shift. Traffic will not be impacted while repairs are made to the northbound pier nor while the rocker-bearing system is replaced by neoprene pads. In December, when work begins on the southbound pier, lanes will shift, but traffic will remain a single lane in each direction. Southbound work includes the removal and replacement of the 1,050 ton pier. In response to the Birmingham Bridge incident, PennDOT has begun inspecting the other 1,741 bridges in its district 11 region. Of those, 241 have similar rocker-bearing systems. 5 bridges in the district with that system are currently being addressed.