By Perry Schaible
WEST CHESTER TWP. - As many as 80 employees of Estes Express Lines trucking company will have to alter the way they get to work this summer when county officials close an aging steel truss bridge on Allen Road.
The bridge, which is east of Windisch Road, will be closed for two to three months and rebuilt to modern design standards with wider lanes, full berms and shoulders, said Chris Petrocy, spokesman for the Butler County Engineer's Office.
Replacement was originally slated for 2007, but will now begin as early as August. Total project cost is estimated at $930,000.
The Engineer's Office placed a 20-ton load restriction on the bridge in December after structural deficiencies were discovered during an annual inspection.
Those restrictions have since been modified.
Allen Road is home to several trucking companies.
"Its impact will be great to those vehicles that use it on a regular basis, but townshipwide it will have minimal impact," said Mark Fitzgerald, West Chester Township services director.
Chris Short, terminal manager for Estes Express, said that about 50 trucks go in and out daily.
"In the past, that was the way all our trucks came in," Short said.
Estes Express employees have been informed that they should not use the bridge at all, Short said.
The bridge over Interstate 75 on Allen Road was closed for six months in 2003 as part of the interstate widening project.
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