The construction project to build the new bridge that will eventually carry Lititz Pike over the Amtrak railroad tracks between Lancaster City and Manheim Township in Lancaster County will start Monday. That part of Lititz Pike is also known as Route 222.
The contractor will be focusing on building the abutments for the new bridge, which is west of the existing bridge that will line up with Duke Street. The contractor will also be working on widening the portion of Duke Street between McGovern Avenue and Liberty Street, and also a part of Liberty Street between Lititz Avenue and Duke Street.
Little impact on traffic is anticipated during this stage other than shifting some traffic lanes. Traffic restrictions, if they occur, will be limited to the hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. during this stage.
PennDOT has contracted with J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pennsylvania, at a cost of almost $13 million to replace the existing Lititz Pike bridge with a new bridge on a new alignment between the existing structure and the Lancaster train station.
The existing bridge will remain open and in service until the new bridge is built and opened to traffic in late 2014. Nearly 28,000 vehicles cross over the bridge on a daily basis.
Prep work started earlier this year with the demolition of buildings on the property that was acquired for this project. The demolition included the former Crouse Auto Sales north of the bridge and the former Fulton Bank building south of the bridge.
The construction work will be conducted in four main stages. Though little traffic impact is anticipated during Stage 1, there will be a number of significant traffic impacts associated with Stage 2 which may start as early as May or June – depending on the completion of utility pole relocations and coordination with Amtrak.
In Stage 2, Lititz Pike will be reduced to one lane in each direction for a short distance in the vicinity of Keller Avenue, just north of the bridge. The connection between Lititz Pike and Keller Avenue will be closed. McGovern Avenue will be closed between Lititz Avenue and Queen Street, and the Christian Street connection with McGovern Avenue will be closed.
A portion of Lititz Avenue between McGovern Avenue and Liberty Street will be converted to two-way traffic so that southbound traffic on Route 222 (Lititz Pike) can be detoured by way of Liberty Street. Access to the train station will be available by Queen Street.
These traffic patterns are necessary so that the contractor can build the roadway approaches on the new alignment for the new bridge.
Stage 3 is currently anticipated to start in late spring 2014 and take until the end of the summer to complete. The new bridge will be opened to traffic at this time, as will McGovern Avenue from Duke Street to Queen Street, and Duke Street from McGovern Street to Liberty Street. Lititz Avenue will be closed for demolition of the old bridge and the conversion of the road to a cul-de-sac, and a portion of Marshall Street will be closed for reconstruction.
Stage 4 will wrap up the project in the fall of 2014 and involve milling and paving throughout the entire project. Milling is an operation that removes the top one to two inches of old asphalt surface in preparation for paving the final surface. The milling operation will be conducted on McGovern Avenue between Queen and Prince streets, Liberty Street between Queen and Lime streets, and old Lititz Avenue.
The Lititz Pike Bridge was built in 1939. The structure is 151 feet long and consists of two spans – one span is 49 feet long, the other is 102 feet long. It is 53 feet 9 inches wide, accommodating four 10-foot-wide traffic lanes, a 10-foot 9-inch sidewalk on the west side, and parapets. The Lititz Pike bridge is in very poor condition and is currently classified as structurally deficient.
The new bridge will be a single span on a new alignment measuring 175 feet in length and 65 1/12 feet in width to accommodate four 11-foot-wide traffic lanes, two sidewalks that are each 5-foot 8-inches in width, and parapets.
More detailed information on the stages of the construction is available on the website for the Lancaster County Planning Commission at www.co.lancaster.pa.us/planning
and next week also on the website for the James Street Improvement District at www.jsidlancaster.org