Good news, drivers.
The Lower State Road bridge will reopen to traffic Friday afternoon.
Doylestown Township manager Stephanie Mason said Thursday that officials plan a brief ribbon cutting around 2 p.m. Friday. After that, the bridge will open to traffic.
Mason said she expected the bridge to reopen around 3 p.m. or so.
The news comes about three weeks after township supervisors pressed a PennDOT representative for updates on the work, which didn't seem to be progressing fast enough to meet an end-of-year deadline.
But PennDOT's Mike DiBello said on Dec. 4 that the agency's contractor for the project, J.D. Eckman, Inc., hadn't missed the deadline yet. He assured supervisors that the pace of work would dramatically increase over the intervening weeks.
Apparently, it did.
Supervisors said they only agreed to close the bridge completely after being told that Eckman could finish the project in one year. The bridge closed on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012.
Eckman was hired for the $3,475,417 project in April 2011, and work was supposed to begin then. It was expected to be finished by August 2012.
But the project was delayed when Verizon workers went on strike, officials said. PennDOT couldn't start work until Verizon relocated utility lines in the area. Other area detours for the Route 202 Parkway construction project also pushed back the project, they said.
When the time finally came to begin the bridge project, Eckman asked Doylestown Township for a favor.
"They came to us and said, 'We can get that project done in one year, instead of in 18 months, if you let us close the bridge completely,' " Lyons said after a the Dec. 4 meeting.
The original plan had been to close one lane at a time, Lyons said, but that would make the project take longer.
"The total closure of the Lower State Road will enable the bridge to reopen in December 2012, if all goes as expected," PennDOT said in January.
- Lower State Road Bridge Finally Getting Attention
- Lower State Road Bridge to Close Monday
- Bridges to Trouble: Lower State Road
- Doylestown-Area Drivers Face More Delays