A local covered bridge damaged by Tropical Storm Lee has been reopened to traffic.
The Hillsgrove covered bridge, originally built in 1900, carries Township Road 357 (Covered Bridge Road) over the Loyalsock Creek near Hillsgrove in Sullivan County. The single-span timber burr arch truss bridge measures 171 feet long, with an 11.75-foot curb to curb width.
In September 2011, the bridge was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Lee. The upstream and downstream truss low chords were splintered from floodwater and debris hitting the structure. The majority of the siding was removed during the storm, and vertical and diagonal truss timber members were split as a result of the debris impact. The bridge was closed to traffic indefinitely.
After the storm, Larson Design Group (LDG) was hired by the Sullivan County Commissioners and asked to complete a repair of the battered structure. Kurt Brungard, PE, Senior Project Manager with LDG’s Bridge Group, noted “The most challenging aspect of the project was having the rehabilitated structure opened by Antlered Deer Season, as requested by the County Commissioners.” Brungard added, “The contractor for the project was Perry’s General Contracting out of Dunmore, PA. Perry’s knowledge of timber covered bridge construction was an integral part of meeting the schedule.”
The bridge reopened to traffic on November 21st, ensuring that those traveling on T-357 will encounter minimal delays while making their hunting treks.