UPDATE: PennDOT has announced that the debris removal will be postponed a day, and the Water Street Bridge will remain open all day on Tuesday, Nov. 6, so that its closure doesn’t impede people in the area from getting to the polls on Election Day. It will be closed again at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Instead of a five-hour closure for the removal of debris from underneath the Water Street Bridge, motorists will now have to deal with daily closures from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the remainder of this week, the Borough of Hellertown said in an email Monday afternoon.
The debris–which includes large logs and even a tree trunk–was swept there by flood waters that engulfed the 80-year-old bridge Friday night.
More flooding is possible Tuesday because of heavy rain, the National Weather Service said in a hazardous weather outlook Monday. The rain “could lead to localized flooding, especially in areas where flooding occurred Friday night,” the statement said.
The debris removal is being performed by PennDOT maintenance forces, as the bridge is owned and maintained by the state.
Eastbound traffic headed toward Hellertown was being detoured north on Creek Road to Silvex Road Monday. Westbound traffic out of town should use either the Silvex Road bridge to the north or the Walnut Street bridge to the south to get around the closure.
The bridge is scheduled to be replaced next summer. In recent months it has been temporarily closed several times for emergency repairs.