AIRVILLE, Pa. — The Norman Wood Bridge (Route 372) that crosses over the Susquehanna River between Lancaster and York counties is expected to be closed for a month as crews work to make repairs to the bridge, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The bridge has been closed to traffic since Monday. Bridge inspection crews discovered an 8-foot crack in a steel girder on the south side of the bridge, according to a statement from PennDOT.
Contractors plan to bolt two steel plates over the crack, according to PennDOT. The steel plates, measuring approximately 5-feet by 14-feet, will be bolted one on top of the other on the south side of the girder to restore structural integrity to the girder and the bridge, according to PennDOT.
“Once mobilized and the materials for the repair have been procured and delivered on-site, the contractor intends to work during the daylight hours seven days a week” said Mike Keiser, district executive for PennDOT Engineering District 8 which covers south central Pennsylvania. “For safety reasons, considering the height and location of the bridge, work will not be conducted during the overnight hours. We expect that it will take about a month – hopefully sooner — to complete the repair. Though the cost estimate is preliminary and very general at this time, it will likely amount to several hundred thousand dollars.”
Since discovering the crack in the girder on Monday afternoon, PennDOT engineers have been meeting and consulting with engineers to develop and evaluate repair options. Engineers from Lehigh University have also been retained to conduct testing of the steel material that will help determine what may have caused the crack.
Inspection of the bridge has also continued this week, and inspectors have identified other locations with minor cracks that are not uncommon in this type of structure. This information will need to be analyzed and repairs made to these locations as well, according to PennDOT.
Detour routes have been established and signed for the bridge closure, directing traffic north to the Route 30 bridge between Columbia and Wrigthsville, or south into Maryland to the Route 1 bridge over the Susquehanna River at the Conowingo Dam.