This past June, East Bradford Township, in partnership with PennDOT and local and state representatives, successfully completed the construction of the Route 322 (Downingtown Pike) Bridge Replacement Project!
What started as just a bridge replacement project quickly turned into a collaborative local-governmental effort, resulting in not just a successful bridge replacement, but a variety of public recreational benefits as well.
The new concrete bridge replaced the steel-beam bridge that was originally constructed in 1929 and no longer in good condition. “We were eager to complete the replacement of this poor condition structure on U.S. 322 (Downingtown Pike), so it could continue to provide motorists with a safe and secure crossing over the east branch of Brandywine Creek for many years to come,” said PennDOT District Executive, Kenneth M. McClain.
The bridge extends from the intersection of U.S. 322 (Downingtown Pike) and Sugars Bridge Road, to the intersection of U.S. 322 (Downingtown Pike) and Skelp Level Road.
The Chester County Planning Commission (CCPC) initially produced a concept plan showing the potential for expanded trail parking in the vacated roadway and a grade separated crossing of 322 beneath the new bridge in late 2014.
Top photo: July 24, 2015 Bottom photo: June 4, 2020 Source: Nearmap
This plan was followed by a meeting of stakeholders from the PA General Assembly, the PA Department of Transportation, and East Bradford Township in the fall of 2015, which resulted in a more detailed sketch plan prepared by CCPC in early 2016. From there, PennDOT agreed to include the added improvements in the bridge project absorbing much of the time and cost that otherwise would have been associated with a separate project led by the township.
PennDOT worked with the township to provide the necessary height to accommodate a pedestrian and cyclist underpass for the eventual continuation of the East Branch Brandywine Trail south towards Stroud Preserve. The plans also allowed the opportunity for an additional 40-vehicle parking lot within the former roadbed, providing convenient access to both the trail and Brandywine Creek for recreational use.
“By my observations, there are more people on the Brandywine Creek this summer than I can ever recall seeing before, and that is in part attributable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the stretch of high heat, high humidity weather we have experienced through the summer months,” said Rich Phifer, Director of Property and Recreation for East Bradford Township. “It would be more than fair to say that this project has resulted in a positive outcome that is already quite apparent.”
Work on this project was completed in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance, as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan.
To learn more about the project, visit https://www.dailylocal.com/news/local/penndot-announces-completion-of-6-1-million-route-322-bridge-replacement/article_966b6714-aff5-11ea-9319-0b1ece46f41c.html.
For questions, please contact East Bradford Township Manager, Mandie Cantlin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.