Note: This story has been updated with additional information from PennDOT and to correct information about the closed bridge. An earlier published version of this story included innacurate identifying information about the bridge. We apologize for any confusion the error may have caused.
A week after it was announced that a failing two-lane bridge in downtown Coopersburg would be closed in one direction, PennDOT closed the West State Street span both ways, a borough official said Thursday.
Borough manager Tim Paashaus said the borough has yet to receive any official guidance from PennDOT regarding the replacement of the bridge, which serves as a critical link between Main Street in Coopersburg and points west of town.
Paashaus said the borough won’t wait to receive that information before it acts to ensure that the impact of the bridge’s closure on residents and businesses is mitigated.
“We will be making John Alley one way (heading north), and (creating) a four-way stop at the corner of Tilghman Street and Locust Street,” he said.
Both John Alley and the intersection of Locust and Tilghman streets are on the west side of Main Street, which runs north-south and more or less divides the borough in half.
“Hopefully these traffic measures will help with the flow of traffic and protect the area residents and businesses from U-turns and speeding,” Paashaus said.
Paashaus speculated last week that the West State Street bridge replacement project will likely involve “many years of design and build,” resulting in “a multi-year impact (similar to that the Blue Church Road Bridge)” project in nearby Upper Saucon Township.
According to PennDOT Engineering District 5 Safety Press Officer Sean Brown, the bridge is an open-bottom structure with concrete abutment walls and a concrete slab.
The roughly eight-foot-long bridge spans an unnamed tributary of the Saucon Creek.
PennDOT announced Friday that the detour route around the closed bridge utilizes Gun Club Road, Mill Road and Main Street.
“The road will be closed indefinitely until repairs to the structure can be made,” a PennDOT news release said. “Updates on the structure will be provided when available.”