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Graffius Bridge should be open by Oct. 31

October 12, 2011

Construction workers for Francis J. Palo Inc. work on the approaches to the Graffius Avenue bridge. After a 20-day delay for the movement of utility lines, the bridge is expected to reopen Monday, Oct. 31. (Photo by Larry McGuire)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — After months of work, a favorite shortcut to Route 310 for motorists and pedestrians — the Graffius Avenue Bridge — should reopen by Monday, Oct. 31.

Workers from contractor Francis J. Palo poured the final approach slab on the Wellington Heights side of the bridge this week, along with beginning roadway reconstruction on the Route 310 side, according to Kirby Starr, PennDOT project inspector in charge.

Starr said crews are preparing to pour curbs and sidewalks near Nekos. The sidewalk leading from the bridge to Route 310 will be poured.

The new bridge is wider and will have a five-foot sidewalk. There will not be a barrier on the traffic side of the bridge due to the 25 mph speed limit, which is similar to the Route 119 bridge replacement project last year, Starr said.

Paving for the approaches on Graffius Avenue are scheduled for today.

Starr said the original completion date was Tuesday, but that date was pushed back 20 days due to utility delays at the beginning of the project that involved the relocation of fiber optic lines, cable lines and power lines.

“The bridge was never scheduled to be open before school,” he said. “We did not demolish the old bridge until school was ended for the year. Once summer vacation began, we were allowed to demo it, which was held up by the utility delays.”

Starr said if Palo would’ve been able to demolish the bridge on schedule, it would have opened to traffic Oct. 1.

The bridge is complete, and now, the contractor is preparing the road for paving, Starr said.

A new mast arm for the traffic signal will also be installed.

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