The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 29, 2013

Last White Deer Pike detour is Tuesday

LEWISBURG — WHITE DEER — Tuesday should be the last detour on the White Deer Pike as reconstruction of the railroad bridge nears completion, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has announced.

The one-day closure is to accommodate railroad construction on the new bridge between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. It will affect traffic between Route 15 and Watsontown.

The final detour was to occur last Thursday. However, it was discovered some timbers on the bridge had been cut to the wrong dimensions and had to be replaced, said Jeff Stover, executive director of SEDA-Council of Governments’ Joint Rail Authority, which oversees the project.

“It was important to correct this mistake,” Stover said. “Tuesday will be the day.”

The bridge reconstruction cost nearly $1 million and will allow rail service to prospective tenants in the Great Stream Commons Business Park, which is north of Allenwood in Gregg Township, Union County.

For Tuesday’s detour, signs will go up on the eastern side of the Nurse Helen Fairchild Memorial Bridge in Watsontown before crossing the Susquehanna River, as well as at approaches to the intersections of Harberson and Leiser roads with the White Deer Pike.

The second location is to control local traffic that may originate from Old Route 15 via Harberson Road, or near the car wash in White Deer. Vehicles longer than 22 feet — large trucks — will be prohibited from using the road.

Deputies from the Union County Sheriff’s Department will monitor both ends of the local detour and will cite offenders.

The sheriff’s office also has approval from the Watsontown Borough Police Department to set up in the borough to keep trucks from going west on the White Deer Pike over the river bridge.

The project schedule was accelerated in August when detours on the White Deer Pike over the summer caused headaches for White Deer Township officials, who saw a local road and small county bridge get beat up taking on traffic neither was made to handle.

Local businesses, specifically Mama’s Corner Deli in White Deer, also complained, saying the rerouted traffic cost them business.

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