The Lang Maid Lane Bridge has been closed by Bradford Township officials after a contractor installing a water line struck the bridge abutment around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Bradford Township Police Chief Robb Shipman told The Era that contractors digging near the bridge for the Bradford City Water Authority redundant water line project accidentally got too close.
“When they were digging to put the new line in, they got too close to the new bridge and damaged some of the reinforcements for the bridge abutment,” Shipman explained.
The bridge was closed out of an abundance of caution.
“It will remain closed until the engineer that helped build it comes to inspect it,” he said. The engineer will be there at 8 a.m. today. “He and the township officials will make a determination” about what to do from there, the chief explained.
Steve Disney, executive director of the water authority, was called to the scene by the township supervisors.
“I met them out there,” he said. He will meet with the engineer, the designer, architect, the authority’s engineers and representatives from Mortimer’s Contracting today to look at the site.
“It’s hard to say right now what damage, if any, was done and needs to be repaired, or what can be repaired,” Disney said, explaining he’ll know more after the meeting.
Accidents happen, he said, adding, “We’ve been fortunate on this project, it’s over six-and-a-half miles long.”
Disney said the authority will work through the problem and “try to come up with a solution that is best for everybody and go from there.”
While work was stopped for a bit on Wednesday, Disney said he doesn’t anticipate this causing any delays in the timeframe for construction.
“I think we can still get a water line in place,” he said. The issue will be how to bury the line and “what’s going to be done to stabilize” the surface.
Two water lines already run through the bridge structure, Disney explained, an 8-inch treated water line and a 14-inch raw water line. “We need to find out exactly what needs done in case in the future we need to excavate there, we’ll know how to make proper repairs.”
Officials are asking motorists to use Crookerhouse Lane to access Lang Maid Lane before the bridge.