Slate Hill Road bridge closed for repairs, expected to reopen in December
A historical but structurally deficient bridge in Fairview Township that spans the Yellow Breeches Creek and connects York and Cumberland counties closed on Thursday, officials said.
The Slate Hill Road bridge will remain closed to traffic until December, when preservation and restoration work is expected to be finished, according to a joint news release from both counties.
The bridge has a 3-ton limit, but drivers of heavier vehicles regularly ignore that, officials have said.
During a safety inspection, "engineers determined that based on the poor condition of several components of the bridge, and evidence that it is being used by overweight vehicles, the bridge is no longer safe for traffic," the release states.
About 1,600 vehicles used the bride daily, according to the release. It is jointly owned by York and Cumberland counties.
A 3-mile detour will be posted, officials said.
The repair project is expected cost about $3.1 million, with York and Cumberland counties splitting the expense. York County's half will be funded by its portion of revenues raised by state fees on Marcellus Shale natural gas production, according to county spokesperson Mark Walters.
Historical bridge: The earth-filled stone masonry arch bridge was built in 1899 or 1900 and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, officials have said.
Extensive restoration is planned and is expected to start in May.
"For the safety of our residents, and the preservation of the bridge, it will remain closed until the anticipated December 2021 completion of the restoration," the news release states.
In summer 2018, The York Dispatch reported that 7½-foot-tall clearance bars were one of the planned improvements.
Officials have said it's hoped the clearance bars will reduce the size of trucks that use the bridge, which in turn will help keep overweight vehicles from using it.
.More information about the Slate Hill bridge can be found at HistoricBridges.org.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.