The expedited construction of a new Slabtown Bridge continues with the next phase of the project starting this week.
Previously a four-span bridge, the new bridge will be built with three spans, with two abutments on each shore side and a pier in the creek. Work on the pier is scheduled to begin this week, said Dave Wise, project manager.
Work is halfway completed on the substructure.
The next step, once the substructure is finished, is to set the beams, which is scheduled for after the July 4 holiday. Then the deck will be built.
"The project is pretty much on schedule," Wise said. "We're still on track."
The bridge is scheduled to open this year around Thanksgiving.
Following last September's flooding from Tropical Storm Lee, the first span of the bridge fell and the soil under the two piers in the creek eroded.
"The bridge could not be saved," he said. "It had to be torn down. It was done last year."
Work began at the end of March this year to design the new bridge, which is estimated to cost just under $3 million, said Rick Mason, the local state Department of Transportation spokesman.
Building a temporary bridge to allow passage over Loyalsock Creek at Loyalsockville, four miles north of Montoursville, was considered, but was rejected, Wise said.
A temporary bridge would have been "very, very expensive," according to Wise, and would have taken almost as long to build.
"It was never a viable option," he said. "People asked about it."
Instead, the detour in place following the flood, which uses Route 87, Loyalsock Avenue, Broad Street and Warrensville Road, will be maintained until the new bridge is ready for use.
Despite recent rainy days, construction stayed on schedule, and workers performed other tasks, Wise said. Concrete work is not done in the rain, but construction workers did rock work or other things involved with the project.
"The good thing is the creek hasn't come up high during this project," he said. "There have been rain days, but we haven't got flooded off our work area."