RETTEW and West Donegal Township Supervisors formally opened the Newville Road Bridge in Elizabethtown on Monday. Representatives from several state and federal legislative offices were present, and Supervisor John Yoder spoke on the significance of the project in the community.
The previous steel truss bridge closed in the late 1990s due to structural corrosion. As the bridge carries local traffic over railroad tracks owned and used by Amtrak, RETTEW and the township worked together to prepare the most conducive design for large vehicles on the bridge, fast-moving trains on the tracks below, and the important utility lines on the site. Congressman Joe Pitts assisted with purchasing needed land from Amtrak.
The new bridge is a three-span prestressed concrete box beam bridge, featuring a narrow profile to stand between utility lines. The new design is more than 10 feet wider than the previous structure, and construction took place over the past year. RETTEW and Amtrak coordinated with the township and York-based contractor Kinsley Construction to complete all work without interrupting Amtrak’s train schedule.
“We’re pleased to open this structure that has been unavailable for several years,” Yoder said. “Traffic heading through and around Elizabethtown can now choose an alternate route, reducing congestion through the main section of the borough.”
The $2-million project received funding from the Federal Highway Administration, with the township footing five percent of the bill, or about $100,000. TRC Engineering, based in Lancaster, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Pennsylvania Utility Commission also had roles in the project.
“Challenges like this bridge are invigorating for our team of engineers,” said Dave Hoglund, RETTEW project manager. “Coordinating the different permissions, strict design requirements, and the needs of all parties while keeping the end result cost-effective and long-lasting is the type of project we enjoy working through.”