Final span of former Arch Street Bridge comes down

The new Lance Cpl. Abram L. Howard Bridge linking the city and DuBoistown opened in November, and the last remaining span of the old bridge was demolished by the state Department of Transportation on Friday.

“It was definitely a welcomed project,” said Rick Mason, PennDOT public information officer, on the entire project, which started in late June 2010.

Four spans of the bridge, also known as the Arch Street Bridge, were brought down Friday, with three previous spans being demolished in early November.

The bridge needed to be taken down in sections in order to avoid blocking the entire river. A road, or a causeway, was used in the river to retrieve parts of the bridge that were demolished.

“It was basically a matter that we couldn’t have the causeway across the entire river,” Mason said.

Mason said that the project was a “milestone.” He explained that with the completion of the new bridge, there no longer are any “structurally deficient,” bridges left in the nine counties of the district.

Mason added that being structurally deficient does not mean it is unsafe to travel on but from “wear and tear,” it either needs some sort of rehabilitation or to be replaced.

“It means the wear and tear and as the decades have gone by, the bridge has become worn out,” he said.

The old bridge soon should be completely removed, as piers that remain from the recently demolished section will be taken down in the coming weeks.