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I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement 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-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project forward, but without tolling. A Categorical Exclusion (CE) Reevaluation was prepared by PennDOT and approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The approved CE Reevaluation evaluated and documented how the project build alternative without tolling would affect the surrounding community and environment.

See the Approved CE Reevaluation (PDF)

Project Description

The I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge was built in 1955 and was last rehabilitated in 1985. This bridge is in a rural setting and crosses Maiden Creek in Greenwich Township, Berks County. It also serves as an overpass to PA-143. The bridge carries about 50,000 vehicles daily, approximately 30 percent of which is truck traffic.

The purpose of the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project is to replace the existing bridge over Maiden Creek and PA-143 and widen it to accommodate the addition of auxiliary lanes and full inside and outside shoulders on I-78 in each direction. These modifications will provide a consistent typical section along the I-78 corridor.

The project is intended to address the substandard I-78 westbound deceleration and I-78 eastbound acceleration lane lengths to and from the PA-143 interchange.

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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