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A truck and car drive toward the camera on a bridge on the left, with another bridge and cars driving away from camera on the ri

I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges

In July 2022, the General Assembly amended the state's P3 law to remove tolling as a means of funding the MBP3. As a result, PennDOT is moving the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges project forward, but without tolling. A Categorical Exclusion (CE) Reevaluation is being prepared to evaluate and document how the project build alternative without tolling would affect the surrounding community's quality of life, including health, safety, cultural resources, environmental resources and more.


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Project Description

The I-80 Canoe Creek bridges are dual multi-span structures (one eastbound and one westbound) that were built in 1966, were extended in 1985 and underwent multiple retrofits for fatigue-induced cracking since 2013. These bridges cross over Canoe Creek and Tippecanoe Road (SR 4005) in Beaver Township, Clarion County. Combined, they will carry an estimated average of 30,100 vehicles per day by 2025. About 50 percent of the traffic over these bridges is truck traffic.

The purpose of the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges project is to provide a safe and reliable crossing of I-80 over Canoe Creek and Tippecanoe Road. The project is intended to replace the existing structures and update the roadway within the project limits to meet current design criteria and improve safety along the corridor. While both bridges have been repaired several times throughout their lifespan, recent inspections show the westbound bridge is in poor condition, and the eastbound bridge is in fair condition.

The project includes the total replacement of both the eastbound and westbound Canoe Creek bridges, as well as improved roadway alignment and geometry. The limits of the project extend approximately three miles on I-80, from the Knox interchange over the bridges to a pair of weigh stations near milepost 56.5. Part of the project also includes the rehabilitation of an existing reinforced concrete arch culvert (Thompson Hill Arch Culvert) that carries an unnamed tributary to Canoe Creek under I-80. The existing wingwalls at the inlet and outlet of the culvert are deteriorated and will be replaced. In addition, a reinforced concrete slab will be constructed along the floor of the culvert to prevent further scour of the streambed within the limits of the culvert.

Project History & Funding

Through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review process, the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project was approved as a Categorical Exclusion (CE) in April 2020, and the project team was permitted move forward with final design and right-of-way acquisition. In February of 2021, the project was selected as a candidate for bridge tolling under the Major Bridge P3 (MBP3) and an Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared to study the potential impacts related to tolling and toll diversion in accordance with NEPA.  The EA was made available for public comment on April 19, 2022, and a public hearing was held on May 4, 2022. In July 2022, the General Assembly amended the state's P3 law to remove tolling as a means of funding the MBP3. As a result, PennDOT is moving the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges project forward, but without tolling.

A CE Reevaluation is being completed for the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project to evaluate and document the effects of the build alternative with tolling removed. Since tolling will not be initiated, diversion of traffic onto local roads to avoid the tolls will not occur. Therefore, the proposed improvements along the diversion routes will no longer be included in the project. Approval of the CE Reevaluation is anticipated this fall (2022).

All comments received on the project's EA in Spring 2022 that were unrelated to tolling and toll diversion impacts were evaluated and considered in the development of the CE Reevaluation.

The MBP3 program was established to accelerate the replacement and rehabilitation of major Interstate bridges. Under MBP3, PennDOT entered into a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) with Bridging Pennsylvania Partners (BPP) to advance preliminary design work. The PDA will lead to separate contracts to finalize design, build, finance and maintain packages of bridges in the MBP3, including the I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges. PennDOT will repay the amounts financed by the development entity through recurring availability payments over 30 years, beginning when construction is complete.

Without the funds that would have come from tolling the MBP3 bridges, other sources of funds will be necessary to complete the projects as the bridges are a critical part of the state's interstate system. This means PennDOT will have to reallocate currently programmed state funds and federal funds now available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will result in the deferral or elimination of some projects in the 2023 12-Year Program (TYP).  

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