Markley Street/Elm Street bridge to close for a year for reconstruction

PUBLISHED: April 2, 2024

NORRISTOWN — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced Friday that bridge rehabilitation will begin on a $7.8 million project to restore the Markley Street/Elm Street stone arch bridge over Stony Creek.

The work will require closing of a portion of Markley and Elm streets for a year.

From Monday, April 15, through April 2025, Markley Street will be closed between Marshall Street and Spruce Street/Harding Boulevard and Elm Street will be closed between Astor Street and Swede Street. During the closure, vehicles, pedestrians, and trucks are directed to follow the posted detour routes.

Local access will be maintained up to the construction zone. Drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling near the work area because backups and delays will occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.

In addition, SEPTA’s Elm Street Station parking lot for the regional rail line is located adjacent to the bridge and work zone. Once the closures begin, motorists traveling northbound on Markley Street and eastbound on Elm Street will continue to have access to the parking lot. Motorists traveling southbound on Markley Street and westbound on Elm Street will be directed to use the posted detour to gain access.

Under this project, PennDOT’s contractor is rehabilitating the 123-foot-wide structure by replacing the existing stone barriers with concrete core barriers, while using the bridge’s salvaged stone for the facing.

Other improvements include repairing the stone masonry and arch; repointing mortar joints; installing scour protection; removing soil cover and backfilling with lightweight concrete fill; and installing a brown painted guiderail on the Markley Street approaches.

To enhance pedestrian safety and traffic flow, Markley Street will be reconstructed and widened at the bridge approaches and pavement adjustments will enhance the locally owned Elm Street. In addition, upgraded traffic signals, ADA curb ramps, pavement markings, and new signage will be installed.

J. D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Chester County, is the general contractor on this project, which is financed with 100 percent state funds.

Built in 1878, and carrying approximately 24,993 vehicles a day, the Markley Street/ Elm Street bridge is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Rehabilitation of the structure will be conducted in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the PennDOT Stone Arch Bridge Maintenance Manual,  the PennDOT announcement stated.

The traffic disruption comes just four months after the reopening of  the Sterigere Street bridge which was closed for eight months to rebuild the structure which also spans Stony Creek. That project was done under budget and ahead of schedule.