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Weight limits put on Columbia-Wrightsville bridge

PennDot says bridge is safe though

  • Scott LaMar
Veterans Memorial Bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville

 Lancaster Online/LNP

Veterans Memorial Bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville

Airdate: July 20th, 2023


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced a big change on one of the major bridges crossing the Susquehanna River this week. The Veterans’ Memorial Bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville now has a 10-ton weight limit until further notice. That means no tractor trailers can use the bridge.

Joining us on The Spark Thursday was David Thompson, PennDot District 8 press officer who said,”During our most recent inspection, we discovered some unexpected deterioration to what I would call the load carrying members. And that’s the floor beams and the columns that support the bridge deck. This damage was not apparent or visible when we inspected the bridge two years ago.”

Thompson was asked if the bridge is safe to drive over,”The bridge is safe and this is not an emergency situation. The reason that we’re implementing a ten ton restriction is just to simply ensure that the deterioration that we detected in our most recent bridge inspection, which was at the end of June, does not progress. And so this is something that we’re implementing to ensure that the bridge remains open, number one, and that the deterioration doesn’t advance.”

A $79 million project was planned for the bridge and was scheduled to begin next year. Thompson said that’s now on hold,”We’re going to have to kind of go back to the drawing board and expand the project to include the the support sections underneath the deck. We’re were just going to place the new deck on top of the old deck, but we don’t want to do that now that we know that there’s some support under the current deck that that needs to be replaced. So we’re going to have to expand the scope of that project to include those elements. And so that’s going to take some time. In the meantime, we we may be able to perform some interim repairs that may allow us to increase the weight limit on that bridge.”

Thompson indicated the new project will cost more than originally planned because of the deterioration.





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