The Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) over White Clay Creek existing structure was built in 1927. The existing structure is a 69 foot, two-span concrete-encased I beam bridge. The bridge has an annual average daily traffic (AADT) of approximately 18,300 vehicles per day, including 13% trucks. Route 41 has a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour across the bridge and through the Borough of Avondale. Route 41 provides a two-lane crossing of the creek but expands to include an exclusive left-turn lane at each adjacent intersection. There are sidewalks on both sides of the roadway, with pedestrian and bicycle accommodations extending through the borough. The bridge contributes to the Avondale Historic District.
The most recent bridge inspection report noted the superstructure, substructure, and deck are all in poor condition. Stream channel impacts are anticipated to be limited to the immediate vicinity of the existing bridge site because the improved bridge will closely match the existing bridge in length and width. Minor grading may be required along Route 41 at the approaches to the structure as a result of the construction staging requirements.
At this time, staged construction is envisioned to complete the bridge work. Two lanes of traffic on Route 41 will be maintained during non-working hours. Short term traffic impacts may be required during working hours.
In advance of the full rehabilitation or replacement of the bridge, interim repairs occurred to the PA 41 Bridge over White Clay Creek. A recent bridge inspection found deterioration associated with the outside facia beams, and PennDOT maintenance crews placed delineator posts along the shoulders to channel traffic to the center of the bridge and lessen the loads on the exterior beams. Shoulder closed signs were installed on both approaches to warn oncoming traffic of the shoulder closures.
Both the PA 41 Bridge White Clay Creek and the adjacent PA 41 at State Street Intersection project are located within the Avondale Historic District, which was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Since that time, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has commented that the historic district National Register of Historic Places boundary should be re-evaluated to remove non-contributing buildings, and that the context for the historic district should be updated and strengthened. As part of these projects, the consultant team for PennDOT has prepared documentation to update the historic district documentation. Coordination between PennDOT and SHPO regarding the historic boundary revision is ongoing.
Staged construction options to rehabilitate or replace the bridge are being evaluated and will be advanced further in 2022 pending the outcome of the update to the Avondale Historic District boundary.