Out of disaster rises a stronger local freight bridge

In September 2011, 100-year flood waters devastated the railroad bridge over Loyalsock Creek in Montoursville.

A lot of our readers may not be familiar with what that bridge they pass every day driving into and out of Montoursville does.

The bridge is a professional freight service to 70 customers in eight counties, including Lycoming County. Without it, a trip now costs those customers $30,000. That tells you how important the freight bridge is.

Out of the flooding disaster is a rising improvement and a local economic boom.

Other than 22,000 bolts from Ohio, material used in the construction of the new railroad bridge is coming entirely from Pennsylvania. The main construction company doing most of the work on the bridge is Montoursville’s Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.

A new through-truss section of the bridge will allow future floodwaters to flow “through” the bridge.

The bridge’s concrete piers are being anchored by steel pylons driven between 55 and 100 feet into the bedrock below the stream bed.

So the end result is a stronger bridge with increased commercial capabilities built by local construction workers and materials.

The anticipated completion of the new bridge is set for June.

At that point, the September 2011 flood will seem like a distant memory for most.