If the weather cooperates, structural and surface work on the Stockton Avenue bridge in New Hope, closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic since Oct. 19, should be completed by the end of December or sooner, according to Bucks County Public Information Director Chris Edwards.
While initial work on the aging span got off to a slow start in October, activity at the site has picked up through November, with a crane, construction site trailer, and other equipment joining the effort. Daily jack hammering and work on the northernmost pylon have been evident most recently, with additional repair work on the southernmost pylon visible, as well. Progress on the sidewalks has been substantial, a recent visit revealed.
On Monday, a motorized construction platform lift was lowered beneath the bridge to the grassy banks of the Aquetong Creek below. The platform should provide repair workers with a more flexible way to reach areas of damage visible on at least three of the pylons and arches below the roadway.
In the fall of 2014, Bucks County workers blocked one of two sidewalks on the Stockton Avenue bridge, which serves as a vital, high-use connection between the northern and southern residential areas of the borough. The entire bridge was closed by Bucks County authorities Oct. 19.
Gerald Anderson, director of operations for the Bucks County General Services Division, said last year, “The sidewalk in question can only be fixed from below because damage runs through a supporting pylon.” Anderson also indicated that moving construction equipment through the adjacent Canal Street development to the base of the bridge presented a challenge. On Monday, workers simply lowered equipment from the roadway with a crane.
Anderson on Monday confirmed the projected repair completion date. “The work should be completed by the end of the month, weather permitting,” he said.