Replacement of West Middlesex Viaduct in Mercer County to Begin
Oil City, PA – Work to replace the 77-year-old West Middlesex Viaduct that carries Route 318 over Garfield Street and the Shenango River in West Middlesex Borough, Mercer County, is scheduled to begin next month.
The bridge is located on Route 318, just west of the intersection with Route 18 and just east of the intersection with Route 3003 (Wheatland Road/New Bedford Road).
Work will include replacement of the existing 718-foot-long steel truss bridge with a 230-foot-long, single-span steel girder bridge. Work will also include construction of roadway approaches, roadway resurfacing, curb ramps, decorative lighting and other miscellaneous construction.
Reinforced fill will be used to construct the roadway approaches, which will eliminate the need for several bridge spans and reduce the overall length of the bridge to 230 feet. The reduced bridge length will result savings in construction costs and long-term savings in maintenance costs.
The contractor is the Mekis Construction Corp. of Fenelton, PA. The contract cost is $6,432,572.27, which is to be paid with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds.
Work on the project is scheduled to begin on or after April 2, 2018, weather permitting. The project is scheduled to be completed by May 22, 2019.
A detour will be required during construction, with the closure of the bridge and detour to begin as early as April 2, 2018. Normal traffic patterns are to be restored by November 21, 2018.
The posted detour route for eastbound traffic will use Route 718, Route 760, and Route 18. The posted detour for westbound traffic will use Route 760 and Route 718.
The existing bridge was built in 1941. It is classified as structurally deficient and has a posted weight restriction of 33 tons, or 40 tons for combination loads.
The bridge is used by about 5,300 vehicles a day, on average.
PennDOT urges motorists to slow down when driving in work zones, and to be alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and to pay attention to signs and flaggers. Drive responsibly in work zones for your safety and the safety of the workers.