PennDOT officials discussed plans for the replacement of the Route 217 bridge at a meeting with the public earlier this week. Construction of a new bridge is set to begin in 2015.
During construction, PennDOT will keep the current bridge open, since it is the only authorized route over the railroad tracks that divide Derry borough.
PennDOT plans to award bids for the project in December 2014, with construction set to begin the following spring. Traffic will eventually switch to the new bridge in 2016 so the current bridge can be demolished. Plans call for the new bridge to be constructed about 100 feet south of the current bridge.
Three houses will be torn down on the north end of the bridge, and in total, 19 properties will need to be acquired for the project. The new bridge will also include improvements for pedestrians including a safety barrier that will stand more than three feet high which will separate pedestrians from the roadway.