WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. (WYTV) – A bridge running right through the middle of West Middlesex will be closed on Monday. That means big changes for the small town.
The viaduct on Route 318 needs to be fixed. The 77-year-old span was built in 1941, and PennDOT says it is not structurally sound. Repairs begin Monday.
“They’ve reduced the weight limit for safety reasons. It is going to be a serious inconvenience no matter when they do it,” said West Middlesex Borough Councilman Ron Preston.
The bridge cuts West Middlesex in half east and west. It’s a main link for transportation, which includes the West Middlesex schools. Every bus route will be impacted, not only for the remaining nine weeks of school but again when they start in the fall.
“It’s going to have a profound effect. We are having to move bus times 15 minutes, and kids will get home about 15 minutes later,” said Interim Superintendent Larry Connelly.
Transportation Director Matt Bronson said the buses will have to go a different route, most likely through Wheatland.
O’Neill Coffee moved its retail location six months ago anticipating the project. It was right near one end of the bridge but owner Joe Walsh wanted more parking and easier access while the repairs are done.
Walsh said this is the second times in the 67 years he’s lived in the area that the bridge has been down.
“We made it the first time. We will make it through this time, hopefully, for many years to come,” Walsh said.
The steel to fix the bridge is not arriving until summer, but PennDOT believes the bridge will re-open right before Thanksgiving.