A bridge over Mill Creek on Springwood Road in York Township has been removed so it can be replaced, detouring traffic. Water from the creek is being
A bridge over Mill Creek on Springwood Road in York Township has been removed so it can be replaced, detouring traffic. Water from the creek is being pumped around the site and then back into the creek during construction. (Bil Bowden photo)

Morning and evening commute times are stretching for some area motorists as a popular back road between York and Red Lion closed April 1 and will remain detoured for as long as three months.

Motorists are pouring onto heavily traveled Route 74 as an alternate route while crews are replacing a bridge over Mill Creek on Springwood Road in York Township.

The work is expected to keep a detour in place until around July 4, said PennDOT spokesman Mike Crochunis.

Jason Kline of Windsor Township is among the motorists counting the days until the bridge's completion. His vehicle is one of the more than 6,300 vehicles that typically travel the winding north-south route per day. He and others are being funneled onto busier, more urban alternatives.

"You just pile up on Queen Street (Route 74), like starting in Dallastown," he said. "And that's how it goes until you get to York. You're backed up at the lights."

Most of the traffic on Springwood occurs during the peak commute hours, so motorists might see heavier volumes and possibly delays on Queen Street during the morning and evening rush hours, Crochunis said.

Springwood is detoured at Camp Betty Washington Road on the north side of the creek and at Chapel Church Road south of Red Lion.

More than 18,000 vehicles per day travel Queen Street,

and an equal number travel Route 24, or Cape Horn Road, another nearby north-south route, he said.

Bridge replacement: The $471,000 bridge project includes excavation and removal of the bridge, which was built in 1932 and was classified as structurally deficient. It will be replaced with a new pre-cast concrete box culvert.

Crochunis said the 90-day closure time is common for that type of bridge replacement. The stream must be rerouted before a culvert (a big square pipe) can be installed. The stream is then sent through the culvert and the road is built up around it, he said.

The project also includes some road reconstruction, installation of new guiderail, signs and new traffic lines.

-- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffma n@yorkdispatch.com.