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The 117-year-old Kunkle Bridge in Cumberland County is reopening to motorists Friday, June 4 after being deemed unfit to travel on in 2019 due to deterioration, especially from overweight vehicles.
“If we waited any longer, we would see bridge restrictions with weight restrictions, we would see bridge closures that really impact the travel for residents and also deliveries for businesses,” says Cumberland County Director of Planning Kirk Stoner. “This was a challenging project, too, with some of the geology here. It was really unknown until we started to do some subsurface work, so there’s some precautions we need to take to make sure we’re not damaging the Yellow Breeches Creek and some of the surrounding geology.”
90% of this $2 million full bridge replacement was funded by the state, with 10% coming from the county.
“When our residents see results like this and other bridges we’ve worked on, they realize that money isn’t being wasted,” Stoner continues. “It’s being productively invested in our infrastructure.”
The most noticeable change is the bridge’s expansion from a single lane to two lanes.
“The two lanes is definitely a big improvement, the one lane actually did slow the traffic down,” explains resident Jay Buck Swisher. “There’s probably going to be a tendency to speed up now.”