I-80 North Fork Bridges Project
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 North Fork Bridges Project forward, but without tolling. A Categorical Exclusion (CE) was prepared by PennDOT and approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The approved CE evaluated and documented how the project build alternative without tolling would affect the surrounding community and environment.
See the Approved CE (PDF)
The I-80 North Fork Bridges are dual structures (one eastbound and one westbound) built in 1962 and most recently rehabilitated in 2013. These bridges cross over the North Fork Redbank Creek and Water Plant Road in Brookville Borough and Pine Creek Township, Jefferson County. Combined, these bridges are expected to carry approximately 30,900 vehicles daily. Approximately 44 percent of the traffic over the bridges is truck traffic.
The purpose of the project is to provide safe, efficient, and effective crossings of I-80 over North Fork Redbank Creek and Water Plant Road that appropriately accommodate interstate traffic with respect to connectivity, mobility, loading and geometry. The main spans of the existing bridges are steel two-girder systems with floor beams and stringers; the bridges are fracture critical since many components of the bridges are nonredundant. Both bridges have problematic fatigue details which have received multiple retrofits during the service lives of the structures. The eastbound bridge is in poor condition and the westbound bridge is in fair condition; inspections are required on a 6-month and 1-year basis, respectively. The existing bridges are separated by approximately 1,100 feet, with the Walter Dick Memorial Park located between and below the two bridges. Both bridges are reaching the end of their serviceable lifespan.
This section of I-80 has a posted speed limit of 70 miles per hour (mph) and has horizontal and vertical geometry that does not meet 70 mph design criteria. Many crashes, nearly twice the statewide average, have occurred on this segment of I-80 due to a substandard curve on the western approach to the Eastbound bridge.
In addition to the replacement of the I-80 North Fork Bridges, this project will include the replacement of the I-80 Eastbound and Westbound bridges over State Route 4003 (Jenks Street), as well as the replacement of the State Route 4005 (Richardsville Road) bridges over I-80. The project will also include the extension of the North Fork Park Culvert, which carries I-80 traffic over the tributary to North Fork Redbank Creek.
Project History & Funding
The Major Bridge P3 (MBP3) was approved by the Pennsylvania P3 board in November 2020, for the replacement or rehabilitation of nine major interstate bridges through a progressive P3 delivery model. At that time, PennDOT planned to make annual payments to pay for the work and financing costs on these bridges using mandatory tolling, as was permitted by the Pennsylvania P3 law at the time. Since that time, Act 84 of 2022 amended the P3 law to eliminate mandatory tolling of existing free lanes. The Act also preserved the department's ability to continue the MBP3 and move forward with the Predevelopment Agreement (PDA) with Bridging Pennsylvania Partners. In August 2022, PennDOT chose to move the bridge projects in the MBP3 forward without tolling and pay for the project(s) using existing funds to make annual payments to the development entity over 35 years.
This bridge was one of six bridges in Package 1 to be delivered via the MBP3.
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