Contract Awarded to Rebuild Railroad Bridge

June 21, 2013
Damaged bridge is in background, behind flooded Loyalsock Bridge. (Photo courtesy of Tank Baird.)

A contract to rebuild the Loyalsock Creek Bridge, between Montoursville and Williamsport has been awarded to Glenn O. Hawbaker, a heavy construction company headquartered in State College, PA. The contract award was approved by PennDOT's Bureau of Rail Freight Assistance. 

Hawbaker's bid of $9,112,740 was the lowest of nine bids to rebuild the bridge, which was demolished after being severely damaged in floods resulting from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) awarded the bid at its June 12 meeting.

The new bridge will be significantly different than the 85-year old structure it is replacing. Its hydraulic opening is much larger, in terms of both height and width. The old structure employed five piers of stone and concrete, impeding flood-related debris and blocking the water. "The hydraulic concept is a significant improvement from the old bridge," according to Jerry Walls, Chairman of the JRA.

The new bridge will be constructed atop two piers, only one of which will be directly in Loyalsock Creek. The new piers will be anchored in bedrock, 50-feet below grade. The five piers of the old bridge were only eight-feet below grade, leaving them more susceptible to damage from flooding and high-water situations.

Other differences include the height of the bridge, which will be approximately 3-feet above water flow, based on 100-year storm levels, and 1.5-feet above flow, based on Tropical Storm Lee. The new bridge will be significantly longer than the structure it is replacing ─ 474-feet compared to 350-feet.