by Eric Dolente

Reconstruction of the Walnut Lane Bridge, originally scheduled for completion in August, will be delayed until late fall or early winter because of asbestos remediation.

Bob Kent, community relations coordinator for PennDOT, said asbestos remediation work conducted on the joints underneath the bridge was not part of the original scope of the project.

Since the construction project is being pushed back to a later completion date, the projected $14.7 million cost of rehabilitating the bridge will be revised upwards. PennDOT said that it does not have a new figure for the cost at this time. The project is federally funded.

The 109-year-old bridge was closed by PennDOT for reconstruction in April of 2016 to replace a deteriorated bridge deck, hand railings, joints, street lamps and more.

PennDOT took the project under its wing to restore a historic bridge essential to the Northwest Philadelphia community. The bridge was reopened to motorists in September of 2016.

Buckley and Company Inc., of Philadelphia, the contractor, will not only repair the joints but also began construction on a secondary sidewalk this past week. The date of completion of the sidewalk is uncertain, as it depends on weather conditions, but PennDOT expects that the sidewalk will be finished within the time line of the completed project.

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