Lycoming County Bridge No. 106 (T-655) was selected as the recipient of the 2015 Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Award by County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA), and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Projects were judged on their contribution to public safety, funding innovations, benefits of the improvement, and cooperation between the municipality and outside team members. Projects of all size and scope were eligible to compete in this state-wide award program.
During a routine bridge inspection in October 2013, Larson Design Group (LDG) discovered deterioration of structural beams that resulted in the load posting being reduced from 27 tons to 5 tons, limiting access of emergency vehicles, school buses, delivery trucks, and campers to the Village of Marsh Hill and Sheshequin Campground. Fire trucks from the Village of Ralston could only access the area by driving past the bridge, backtracking through rural roads, and crossing a bridge several miles downstream. To make matters worse, the secondary access bridge had a load posting of 15 tons with a narrow curve, making it difficult for larger vehicles to navigate.
Kurt Brungard, director of bridge safety inspection and maintenance for LDG, stated, “Anytime a bridge weight limit is lowered to the point of impacting emergency services and daily commerce, it becomes a major concern. This bridge posed an even greater concern since it was the only suitable access route to the area.”
Working closely with the Lycoming County Commissioners, the bridge team was able to complete the rehabilitation prior to Memorial Day, just two months after the work began. “The rehabilitation removed the load posting, allowing the community to return to their daily routines knowing the bridge was safe and accessible for emergency vehicles and commerce,” stated Brungard.
The project required significant coordination between Lycoming County, Lycoming County Emergency Services, McIntyre and Cascade Townships, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Ralston Fire Company, Sheshequin Campground, HRI, and the local community.