Lititz Pike Bridge construction affecting commutes, businesses

Drivers coming in and out of Lancaster by way of the Lititz Pike Bridge are dealing with traffic back-ups, road closures and detours. It’s all part of a project to demolish the old bridge and build a new one.

PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said keeping the bridge open and re-routing traffic patterns is a better option than shutting it down altogether.

The bridge is a major artery in and out of Lancaster, seeing 28,000 cars daily.

“I think that if we had closed the bridge, or closed the connection in order to demolish and rebuild the new bridge, that would have had a bigger impact on traffic and people in the area,” Penny said.

Though there’s plenty of traffic now on Lititz Pike, it’s not helping business.

“It’s hard, hard to run the business,” said Gabriel Madavaram, owner of the Sunoco gas station at the foot of the bridge.

Since construction began last week, Madavaram estimates it has cut his sales in half. He wants people to know the store remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

PennDOT is urging people to be patient. Penny said the new bridge will improve traffic flow and be much safer.

In the meantime, drivers should allow more time or find alternate routes.

Drivers will be dealing with all of this for at least another year, when the new bridge is expected to open up to traffic. The entire project is set to be finished by the fall of 2014.