PennDOT has released online plans to replace a 93-year-old bridge on Route 419 (Schaeffer Road), about 1.5 miles west of Schaefferstown, near the village of Buffalo Springs.

The bridge, just west of the intersection with Distillery Road, spans an unnamed tributary of Hammer Creek.

The department says the project is intended “to address structural deficiencies of the bridge and provide continued safe and efficient crossing of Route 419 over the unnamed tributary.”

The project will include replacing the old concrete bridge, approach pavement, guide rail, drainage, signing, and pavement markings. The roadway will be widened to include two 11-foot lanes and 5-foot shoulders. 

The bridge will be closed for about four months during the construction. The proposed detour route will use Route 897 (South 5th Avenue), East Evergreen Road, and Route 2003 (State Drive).

The project is currently in the design phase, and work is expected to take place in the 2022 construction season. A digital version of the proposed work will be available to view online until Oct. 20, 2021.

Roadway and bridge plans, and an interactive comment form, can be found by visiting the PennDOT District 8 website, clicking on Public Meetings listed under the Resources heading, and choosing the Lebanon County box, then the tile marked Schaeffer Road over UNT to Hammer Creek.

PennDOT said it is posting the plans online to receive “public input regarding any questions or concerns with the project, including comment on the project’s potential effect upon Cultural Resources pursuant to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s 36 CFR Part 800 regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.”

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...