The South Lancaster Street bridge over the Little Swatara Creek has reopened to traffic – several weeks ahead of schedule and on budget.

“The bridge opened late (Wednesday) afternoon,” Dave Thompson, district press officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Engineering District 8, said in an email Thursday. “The bridge actually opened several weeks ahead of schedule, which should be good news for the more than 2,500 vehicles who use the road on a daily basis, on average.”

The bridge, which connects Jonestown to Bunker Hill, closed in early May.

Read More: PennDOT to replace Jonestown’s Lancaster St. Bridge, six month detour to start Monday, May 11

The 70-year-old four-span steel I-beam bridge is the main entry to Jonestown from the south. Traffic was diverted off South Lancaster Street, aka State Route 1003, between Quarry Road and Mill Street, with a detour following Market Street, Jonestown Road, Route 72, New Bunkerhill Street and Old Jonestown Road.

Initially, the bridge was scheduled to open by Dec. 11, Thompson said.

“The weather definitely seemed to cooperate this year,” he said, explaining why the project finished sooner than expected.

“The project came in on budget, which was about $3.85 million,” he added.

The project included the design, removal and replacement of the existing structure over the creek. The new bridge is wider, with two 11-foot lanes, an 8-foot-wide shoulder on the northbound side and a 6-foot-wide shoulder on the southbound side.

PennDOT noted in a statement in May that work on the project “will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the job site, and relevant training.”

Motorists can check road conditions statewide online at

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Tom has been a professional journalist for nearly four decades. In his spare time, he plays fiddle with the Irish band Fire in the Glen, and he reviews music, books and movies for Rambles.NET. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and has four children: Vinnie, Molly, Annabelle and Wolf.


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