Lincoln Avenue Bridge

MELISSA KLARIC | Herald

Barriers prevent traffic from using Lincoln Avenue Bridge in Grove City.

MERCER – With the potential for further damage to the Lincoln Avenue Bridge in Grove City, Mercer County Commissioners approved emergency repairs Thursday for the county-owned span.

Brad Elder, the county's bridge engineer, told commissioners earlier this month that the bridge has not collapsed, but stones supporting the span have fallen out and there is no protection from storm water flow from the bridge deck whenever it rains. Any storm may cause more stones to move.

County officials approved contracting with Atwell and Perrine Excavating in Mercer for $19,450 for the repairs, which include resetting the dislodged abutment and wall stones and grouting them back in place. Crews will remove fallen trees, and the slope will be protected from further erosion using grouted "rip-rap," stones used to create a barrier between the bridge and water.

Atwell and Perrine submitted the lowest vendor quote.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued an emergency permit for the work to get done. Further repairs must be made, but there is an environmental concern with Wolf Creek below it. Without the emergency permit, the DEP is restricting work in the stream until Oct. 1.

The bridge, just off North Broad Street, is outside the doors of Hall Industries, which manufactures equipment for the transportation industry and other businesses, so the bridge closure could affect about 200 employees.

Hall Industries' problem occurs when its trucks have to detour over nearby railroad tracks, where the vehicles sometimes bottom out.

The work on the bridge will begin as soon as possible, now that a contractor has been named. Elder said the bridge could reopen in a few weeks once work starts.

Follow Melissa Klaric on Twitter and Facebook @HeraldKlaric, email: mklaric@sharonherald.com

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Melissa has been a news reporter for The Herald since 2013, covering breaking news, northern Mercer County, Sharon City schools and education. She is a 1992 graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.