Daily congestion on Route 412 in Bethlehem might get worse in the coming weeks as a bridge rehabilitation project will force a temporary detour of traffic from Applebutter Road onto the state highway.
A $1.7 million rehabilitation project of the “structurally deficient” Shimersville Road bridge will get under way Tuesday, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials announced this afternoon.
The bridge crosses the Saucon Creek between E. Fourth Street in South Bethlehem and Main Street, Freemansburg.
Applebutter Road will close on Sept. 16, 10 days after construction begins, because of its close proximity to the bridge, PennDOT officials said. It will remain closed through the end of November.
The posted detour for Applebutter Road will route traffic on Route 412, Cherry Lane, Easton Road and Lower Saucon Road, the department release said.
During construction, bridge traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction. It currently has two lanes in each direction.
Work includes concrete deck repairs, a concrete deck overlay, steel beam repairs, resetting of steel bearings, deck joint repairs or replacements, concrete median repairs, drainage improvements, and minor substructure concrete repairs, according to a PennDOT news release.
Additional work includes installing new guiderail and placing rock protection along the north pier and other miscellaneous construction.
The existing Bridge is a two-span steel I-beam bridge that was constructed in 1968. The bridge is 212 feet long, 64 feet five inches wide with an average daily traffic of 8,096 vehicles.
J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pa. is the general contractor for the rehabilitation project.