Excitement growing; Route 116 bridge scheduled to reopen Wednesday

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Excitement is growing, among drivers and businesses as road work on Route 116 in Spring Grove nears completion. The Road has been closed since May, and was expected to reopen in February. The project has hit numerous delays, pushing the date back until now.

“First we were told February, and then it was March, and we’re like come on April please be April. So yeah, everybody, that is all that we are talking about around here,” said Stacey Weaver who owns Spring Grove General Store. “We were open three days before the bridge closed. We knew it would be kind of a gamble.” The closure has been hard on many businesses along the road, like hers. “We tried to stay positive and with the help of the community basically we made it through.”

Weaver says Route 116 is a main road going into Spring Grove and it has been slow without it. “It was 5,500 hundred cars that would come past a day. Now maybe 200 I guess. It has been like a ghost town.”

Susie Stepina, a stylist with Salon Utopia along Main Street says they haven’t lost any business, but they haven’t gained any either. “We really felt it last summer right after it happened. It was a pretty quiet summer. I don’t think business really fell off here but I think because we’re not getting the drive by traffic. I expect it to get a whole lot busier. A whole lot of new traffic or new old traffic I should say. We’re going to have an open house probably the end of the month like a bridge reopening.”

The Department of Transportation completed a bridge replacement on the structurally deficient bridge. The bridge will now be wider and longer. “The new Route 116 bridge should be open at the end of the day Wednesday, April 10, probably mid-to-late afternoon,” said PennDOT Spokesperson Greg Penny.  “A subcontractor should finish up with the installation of guide rail today [Tuesday]. If not, the remaining work will be finished tomorrow.  Tomorrow’s [Wednesday] work will be basically clean-up, the installation of a few remaining signs, completing the application of sealant on the bridge.