From a press release

Delaware County Council joined representatives from Aston Township, Middletown Township, and PennDOT to hold a ribbon cutting to officially reopen the Mt. Alverno Road Bridge on July 6. The county bridge connects Aston Township and Middletown Township.

Community members have anxiously been awaiting the reopening of the bridge for a year and a half. The re-opened bridge will once again provide access to the Chester Creek Trail and the parking lot for the trail from the Aston Township side of Chester Creek.

The original bridge was a reinforced concrete arch constructed in 1926 that ran across the Chester Creek.

The reconstruction of the Mt. Alverno Road Bridge began in January 2022. The scope of work for the bridge included:

  • The conversion of the bridge from a concrete arch to a steel structure, which means it can now carry all legal loads
  • A widened shoulder and extra height parapet were provided to accommodate a future sidewalk to provide a connection to the Chester Creek trail
  • A larger hydraulic opening to decrease the water surface elevation of 100-year floods
  • A relocation of existing utilities
  • Upgrades to safety features, including the installation of a guide rail to current standards and advanced curve warning signs.

“Safe and reliable infrastructure is critical,” said Delaware County Councilwoman Christine Reuther. “Delaware County Council remains committed to investing in our bridge infrastructure. As noted in the transportation section of our County Comprehensive Plan, improving the safety and capacity of our transportation network is a key goal.”

The $4.5 million project was funded using federal, state, and county funds.

“The County of Delaware is grateful to our funding partners and we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to investing in infrastructure that benefits county residents,” said Danielle Floyd, the Delaware County’s Director of Public Works. “Today’s bridge opening reconnects two thriving communities and provides safe and easy access to recreational amenities here in the county.”

Pennsylvania has the ninth largest bridge inventory in the nation. Despite a 4.5 percent decrease in the number of poor condition bridges, Pennsylvania contains the second highest number of poor condition bridges among the 50 states. While the state has significantly reduced the number of poor condition bridges through traditional and non-traditional means such as Public-Private Partnerships, inadequate funding over the years has failed to address the ever-increasing repair deficit.

“This is why passage of the 2021 Bipartisan infrastructure Law was so important,” said Reuther. “Over the next five years, Pennsylvania can make advancements to offset the growing deferred maintenance backlog.”

Of the 43 Bridges owned by the county, nine bridges are in poor condition. As of 2023, four of these structures are or will be under construction by the fall of 2023 and three structures are currently in design with a fourth to start by the end of 2023. Construction of two of these bridges will be completed in 2024 with another two to be completed in 2025.

Through the county’s bridge program, we continue to demonstrate good use of federal and state dollars to improve the safety of the county’s transportation network. The County remains committed to working with DVRPC, PennDOT, and our state and federal delegations to advocate for increased funding to invest in our roads, bridges, and highways on behalf of county residents and taxpayers.