The Allen’s Lane Bridge reopened on June 11. It closed back in May of 2019 due to the poor condition of the deck, superstructure, and substructure, blocking a major route from Lincoln Drive to Germantown Avenue.
The Allen’s Lane Bridge reopened on June 11. It closed back in May of 2019 due to the poor condition of the deck, superstructure, and substructure, blocking a major route from Lincoln Drive to Germantown Avenue. Minor work is still going to be done, but traffic can now move freely along the bridge.
On Sunday, the Cresheim Village Neighbors held a ribbon-cutting. High Point, in the Allen Lane Train Station, distributed “Bridge Shortbread” to the large crowd. Some neighborhood students sold popsicles for charity. Steve Stroiman, hosting for the Neighbors community group, thanked everyone for coming, and for their support and endurance over the past two years. Speakers included State Representative Chris Rabb and Congressman Dwight Evans.
Rep. Rabb spoke of the bridge as a metaphor for the Mt. Airy community constantly coming together. Congressman Evans joked that a “major disruption on the route to the Wawa has now been cleared,” and went on to say the project was a model for the national infrastructure project currently under negotiation in Congress.
The project was $4,663,350, financed completely with state funds. Chelsea Lacey-Mabe, a spokesperson for PennDOT,, said in October 2019 that the project was “driven by the need to replace the bridge due to deterioration and heavy spalling and has a current posted weight limit of 20 tons.” At the time, they expected to be finished in the fall of 2020.
The Cresheim Village Neighbors had been aware of the intention to close the bridge since 2014, not long after the Allen Lane Station had spent another few years undergoing renovations to the building and footbridge across the tracks. They started organizing to work with PennDOT in 2018, influencing the design. A new requirement that the bridge walls be raised from four feet to eight feet was initially controversial, but the safety needs were reconciled with the visual design by creating walls that echoed the look of the curved footbridge at the station below. The new bridge is a mix of painted wooden walls, Wissahickon schist, and curved end pieces.
Most importantly, it’s open to traffic.