By Jim Melwert
PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – The morning commute is going to get messy next week, for a lot of people along the Montgomery and Chester County border, as road-work on a bridge will close Valley Forge Road in Phoenixville until at least this fall.
The $1.7-million project will rehab the Route 23 Valley Forge Road bridge over Pickering Creek in Schuylkill Township between Phoenixville and Valley Forge.
“It is a major rehab, we’re basically taking it down to the supports and building it back up again,” explains PennDOT spokesman Charles Metzger.
The 48-year-old bridge carries more than 19,000 cars a day over the Pickering Creek.
Metzger says Valley Forge Road will be closed between Moorehall Drive and MacAvoy lane until late this year. The official detour goes to already heavily congested roads: Route 422 to Oaks, Egypt Road to Route 29, to Bridge Street through Phoenixville.
But Metzger says many drivers will use neighborhood streets to get around the closure, and part of the contract calls for money for overtime for police to patrol those roads:
“To make sure people aren’t speeding through neighborhoods, to help with pedestrian safety, to make sure that kids walking to school, or people walking their dogs aren’t getting run over by speeding cars.”
He says a temporary light will be set up at Egypt Road and Route 29 during the detour.
There are scheduled meetings with area officials for updates on the project and also on traffic flow.