Multiple Bridge Construction Projects Impact Businesses, School Bus Routes

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BIRDSBORO — Over the past year, residents of Birdsboro have been forced to use detours and circuitous routes to get around the borough due to two bridges under construction.

But that’s about to get easier.  Well, for some people.

For their neighbors in Union and Amity townships, it might get harder.

Construction on the Hay Creek Bridge and a new bridge over the Schuylkill River on Route 345 both started in August 2012.

Because of the construction, tractor trailers traveling on Route 724 had to start their detour for Route 345 as far east as Route 100 in North Coventry.

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Red Light For Buttonwood Street Bridge Project

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motorists worried about finding alternate routes between Reading and West Reading while the Buttonwood Street Bridge is closed for two years can relax for now.

Bridge repairs, which were scheduled to start about now, have been delayed for a year.  The work now is slated to begin in April 2014.

The hang-up is due largely to the need to figure out where traffic will go while the bridge is closed and getting all the necessary permits and reviews, said Ryan Hunter, Berks County facilities and operations director.

Various reviews are needed for bridges that cross water, railroad tracks and highways, he said.  Buttonwood Street crosses all three.

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Cumru Township Stretch Of Route 724 To Reopen Friday

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania...

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania shield, made to the specifications of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 2003 Edition (sign M1-5). Uses the Roadgeek 2005 fonts. (United States law does not permit the copyrighting of typeface designs, and the fonts are meant to be copies of a U.S. Government-produced work anyway.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of daily commuters who were used to traveling on Route 724 in Cumru Township are getting an early Christmas present.

The 1.5-mile stretch between Route 10 and Interstate 176 is set to reopen Friday afternoon.  It has been closed since August so the Reading Area Water Authority could install a water main.

“The paving’s pretty much done and everything’s been tested,” said Alan Wong, construction manager.

Crews are adding finishing touches, like line painting, and PennDOT needs to inspect the stretch, he said.  Another layer of asphalt will be added in spring, but that won’t delay the reopening.

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