Burnham bridge plan set

Freedom Avenue bridge replacement project moving forward

Sentinel photos by LAUREN KERSHNER
Plans for the Freedom Avenue bridge replacement project are on display in council chambers at the Burnham Borough Office. The plans give an in-depth look of the new bridge and the temporary bridge.

BURNHAM — The planning phase for a bridge replacement project in Burnham is coming to a close.

The replacement of the Freedom Avenue bridge has been on the books as a potential project for a few years, but now, the plans are moving forward.

Robert Jaconski, with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Timothy Bolden, with Gibson-Thomas Engineering, were at the Burnham Borough Council meeting Monday, to give an overview of the plans to the council.

“When PennDOT went through and assessed the bridge, it was found to be structurally deficient,” Jaconski said.

When traveling over the bridge, there is a rise and kink that makes the bridge hazardous.

Currently, it is difficult for tractor trailers to pass each other on the narrow bridge. Bolden said the project would not only widen the bridge, but also remove the kink the current bridge has.

“The new bridge will have two lanes, plus a turning lane,” he said. “Both the new bridge and the temporary bridge will allow trucks to pass each other.”

Bolden said part of the reason the kink is present is because the current bridge does not accurately match the grade of the hill.

Bolden said the temporary bridge will come part of the way through the Cora’s Restaurant parking lot and then back through Fisher’s parking lot.

There will also be signals, both

temporary and permanent, at the intersection at Railroad Street. One of the temporary signals will be a traffic light to help keep traffic moving swiftly through the construction zone. The other, more permanent signal will be railroad crossing arms to prevent cars from potentially stopping on the tracks.

Overall, Jaconski said the project will cost approximately $3.5 million. The design of the bridge is not yet complete but, he said it should be finished in January 2018. After the design is complete, PennDOT and Gibson-Thomas can send out the project for bids from contractors.

“We are thinking that bidding will begin around March 15, 2018,” Jaconski said.

The anticipated start date for construction, Jaconski said is around the end of April 2018.