Hawbaker to construct railroad bridge over Loyalsock Creek

A State College firm has been hired to construct the new Loyalsock Creek Railroad Bridge.

Glenn O. Hawbaker, a heavy construction company, submitted the lowest of nine bids for the work, according to SEDA-Council of Government spokesman Steve Kushelhoff.

SEDA-COG’s Joint Rail Authority awarded Hawbaker’s bid of $9.1 million at its June 12 meeting.

The second lowest bidder was Susquehanna Supplier.

Hawbaker’s bid later was approved by the state Department of Transportation.

“A pretty large piece of funding was from PennDOT,” said SEDA-COG Executive Director Jeff Stover. “Under the grant agreement they have to review it.”

Funding for the project includes a $2.43 million Federal Railroad Administration grant secured by the Joint Railroad Authority.

Matching dollars from the Joint Rail Authority and several state sources are included in the funding.

The new bridge connecting Montoursville to Loyalsock Township replaces an 85-year-old span severely damaged by flood waters from Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011.

It will be constructed atop two piers anchored in bedrock 50 feet below grade.

By contrast, the former span had five piers just 8 feet below grade, leaving it more susceptible to flooding and other high water situations, according to SEDA-COG officials.

The bridge, to be built along the same alignment as the former span, will be high enough to accommodate 100-year storm levels.

At 470-feet, the bridge will be more than 100-feet longer than the old one.

Bridge construction should begin in July, Stover said.

The tentative completion date is set for June 2014.

Construction is expected to be coordinated with design work for the Montoursville levee project.