PennDOT announces start of repairs to Pond Eddy Bridge
Dunmore – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 4-0, announces the start of repairs to the Pond Eddy Bridge, Route 1011, spanning the Delaware River between Pike County, Pennsylvania, and New York State.
Work to replace approximately 64 steel stringer beams began Monday, April 18. The bridge will be closed to traffic during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon and 1p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday until work is completed. The bridge will be open to residents between noon and 1 p.m. and after 4:30 p.m. until work begins the next morning. Since the only access to the homes in Pennsylvania is across the Pond Eddy Bridge from Route 97 in New York State, the bridge cannot be closed overnight. Replacement of the stringers is expected to be completed in June.
This beams that will be replaced are located directly under the wooden deck. Work will be completed without removing the deck. A temporary platform will be attached to the underside of the bridge deck. No equipment will be placed in the water.
An Aid to Navigation Plan (ATON) will accommodate boating traffic through the work area during construction. Arrows attached to warning signs will direct river users beneath the span that does not have overhead construction. The contractor will inspect the signs daily to ensure that they are correctly placed based on the work being performed. The main channel also will contain buoy markers indicating which bridge span is restricted from passage. Signage and the buoy system will remain in place for the term of the project. The contractor will also capture any construction debris before it enters the river.
Following a program of regular bridge inspection, PennDOT reduced the posting on the Pond Eddy Bridge in December 2010 from 7 tons to 4 tons. PennDOT made repairs to the bridge piers last summer. The repairs will be made to reestablish the 7-ton posting. The cost of replacement is estimated to be between $350,000 and $500,000.
PennDOT and NYSDOT have reached agreement on replacing the existing Pond Eddy Bridge.
In 2009, PennDOT shared its recommendation to replace the bridge rather than rehabilitating it. Since that time, NYSDOT along with NYSHPO, requested support information to this conclusion and to satisfy the requirements of their NY State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). During a meeting on April 27, 2011, all parties agreed that the replacement option will go forward.
What’s Next for the Pond Eddy Bridge Project? Processing the paperwork to officially document the replacement conclusion will continue through the next few months. Since two states are involved this will require more coordination, however, the team remains optimistic that the project will be advancing quickly this summer/fall.
What will happen to the existing bridge? As part of the commitments to seek out a useful life of the existing bridge, it will be marketed to interested parties. Trail groups, recreational advocates and local municipalities in either Pennsylvania or New York can eventually own all or part of the bridge and adapt it for re-use.
What will the new bridge look like? Activities this summer include the initial meeting of the Design Advisory Committee which (DAC) will consist of local representatives to help PennDOT and NYSDOT shape the new bridge. The DAC members will work in close coordination with the engineers to design an aesthetically pleasing bridge that fits into the context of the natural setting of the Delaware River.
Is work already started on dismantling the bridge? “I see workers out there now.” What is happening? Currently, the existing Pond Eddy Bridge is undergoing repairs to address structural deficiencies to increase how much weight can be on the bridge. Today, the bridge’s weight limit is 3 tons, the size of an average sudan-type automobile. The intent is to increase the weight limit to 7 tons, the weight of a full pick-up truck. By repairing the bridge now, it will extend its life until the long-term solution is completed. PennDOT felt it necessary to invest nearly $500,000 in these short-term repairs to ensure the citizens of Pond Eddy can continue to access their homes safely.
What is the timeline? The project is advancing through the states’ preliminary engineering phase and environmental approval processes. This will continue into the Fall. The next phase involves more detailed engineering, called Final Design and permitting. Construction of the replacement bridge would be targeted for the end of 2012 or early 2013.
Should you have any questions regarding the Pond Eddy Project, please contact Sue Williams, PennDOT at 570-963-4253.
Contractor is mobilizing for upcoming repairs to the current bridge. No date set to begin. Work will start on the platform that will be mounted to the underside of the bridge to enable crews to replace the stringers. Once begun, work will close the bridge 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday, opening for an hour at noon and opening for the evening after 4:30. Emergencies will be accommodated as they occur.
A plan that will aid water navigation (ATON) has been developed and will direct boaters to open lanes via signs and buoys. The system will remain in place through the work repairs and will be inspected daily. Repairs are expected to be completed in June 2011 and will restore the bridge weight limit to 7 tons.
Following a program of regular bridge inspection, PennDOT Distrct 4 has downposted the Pond Eddy Bridge to 4 tons from 7 tons due to deterioration. Signs have been posted. PennDOT will follow emergency procedures in selecting a contractor to conduct repairs as soon as possible. PennDOT bridge engineers report that 70 stringers which support the bridge deck, will need to be replaced at an estimated cost of $350,000 to $500,000. The repairs will be made to reestablish the 7-ton posting. PennDOT made $60,000 in repairs to the bridge piers last summer.
The new bridge is still in the preliminary engineering stage as PennDOT does not yet have the necessary environmental and historic clearances NY Historic Commission to move it into final design and, from there, construction. There is no timeline at this point.
Repairs are being made to patch a hole under the pier under our maintenance contract.
The 1904 Pond Eddy, NY-Pond Eddy, PA Bridge has been under design for 15 years. Three million dollars has already been committed to the preliminary engineering phase, and a $60,000 repair job is expected to begin in June. Contractors will replace missing stones on the pier nose and address issues with the underpinnings and steel plates on the historic Pennsylvania truss bridge. While the schedule approved by the commission continues to list 2012 as the year to replace the bridge with a new one, only PA has its half of the $9.5 million construction cost in hand currently and the environmental compliance phase remains open.
The links below lead to the Project Development Report (PDR) for the Pond Eddy Bridge Project. The PDR consists of a 36-page summary of the project developments and 725 pages of supporting appendices of environmental, cultural and engineering report information. As such the PDR file is to large to send as one pdf file, so I have to provide access via our ftp site.
The first provided link allows access via the ftp site to the Pond Eddy Bridge Project – Project Development Report summary, February 2009. The second link provides access to the numerous appendices.
PDR Summary link (36 pages):
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/downloads/Project Development Report_Mar 6-2009.pdf
PDR technical appendices (725 pages):
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/downloads/Pond Eddy PDR Appendices_Mar 6-2009.pdf
Over the last year, PennDOT hired three additional consulting teams to further evaluate the strength of the existing bridge, possible backwater issues (flooding), and constructability challenges. This came in response to concerns raised by the public, particularly those with the goal of preserving the existing Pond Eddy Bridge. Based on the results, PennDOT has determined that the replacement option is the only viable option to provide a river crossing connecting the communities of Lumberland and Pond Eddy.
The results of the different engineering analyses are summarized as follows:
The engineering firm of Michael Baker, Jr. completed a review of the structural integrity of the existing Pond Eddy Bridge, including a review of the numerous bridge inspections reports, loading analyses, and previous engineering studies, to determine the feasibility of rehabilitating the existing structure to meet modern legal carrying capacity and design loads. Michael Baker, Jr.’s analysis concurred with the previous engineering studies which concluded that the existing structure could not be rehabilitated to meet legal load-carrying capacity and design loads.
NTM Engineering, as a subconsultant to Erdman Anthony, Inc., updated the hydrologic and hydraulic model for the Delaware River in the project area and determined that a proposed replacement option would not result in an increase in the local flooding along the Delaware River or the adjacent tributary, Mill Brook. They used a worse-case analysis of a three-pier, four-span bridge; however, the final appearance of the bridge is yet to be determined.
Due to the mountainous terrain, which could limit the size of beams that could be brought in to the area, steep banks, the depth of the Delaware River, among many other constraints, Erdman Anthony, Inc., in conjunction with Urban Engineers, evaluated the constructability issues. Their analysis determined that construction access would need to be made from the New York side of the river and construction activities could occur using a causeway. Details regarding river access for construction will be coordinated during the final design phase of the project. The National Park Service, which oversees the recreational aspects of the River, was consulted during this time and will be further consulted during final design.
Since the inception of the project, a comprehensive report which documents the rationale and reasoning of all the options for rehabilitating the bridge versus replacement of the bridge has not been completed. The public, as well as the DOT decision-makers, requested that a report be compiled that would contain all of this information for easy reference. As such, Skelly and Loy, Inc. is compiling a “Project Development Report” (PDR). The Report is to include the different engineering, environmental and cultural studies completed to date and provide the justification towards making a final decision in one consolidated source for information. It is PennDOT’s intention to have the PDR available to the public in April 2009.
PennDOT will be coordinating with the local officials and consulting parties to arrange a Consulting Party Meeting in April – May 2009 to deliver and review the PDR report and announce the next steps. The specifics of the meeting time and place will be distributed once established. With the replacement option, a Memorandum of Agreement will be created to document commitments to mitigate for the adverse effect. As such, the consulting parties will be instrumental in helping develop the MOA. The draft MOA will be openly discussed at the next meeting, as will furtherance of a Design Advisory Committee comprised of local representatives that will help provide architectural input related to the DOT’s design of the new bridge.