By Jim Melwert
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) -- Good news for drivers who use Plymouth Road near the interchange between I-476 and the Blue-Route: government officials expect the bridge that has been closed since a sinkhole opened last month to be reopened by the end of the summer.
More than 15,000 cars normally cross over the Plymouth Road Bridge, between Butler Pike and Germantown Pike at the interchange for I-476.
"This easily adds 30 minutes per day for me, getting from my home to my office," noted Penndot acting secretary Leslie Richards this morning, "and so many people are impacted in a similar way."
Because of that impact, Richards says, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation expects the bridge to be reopened by August 31st of this year, and they will impose a stiff penalty on the contractor –- $20,000 per day –- if it's late.
The current bridge, built in 1962, has to be completely replaced. The new version will be paid for by state funds.
And, Richards says, unlike the current bridge, the replacement will be drilled into the bedrock, and the Plymouth Creek bed will be lined with cement, to minimize any effects to the bridge by any future ground shifting.
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