In March 2013, the project was expected to be completed in February. Then construction was expected to begin in February with a completion date earmarked for August 2014.
Now, neither is the case.
The construction bid has not yet been awarded and there is no confirmation as to when construction will begin and be completed, according to Newtown Township Engineer Eileen Nelson.
"The delay has been associated with the inclusion of a sanitary sewer force main under the bridge, to avoid tearing it up to install the line in the future," Nelson said in an email message.
DelaysIn December 2012, DELCORA (Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority) requested that Newtown Township incorporate a sanitary sewer force main for future sewer needs into the project to avoid additional disturbance in the future.
"The force main will serve Edgmont Township primarily, but it is expected that Newtown Township may be adding flow to that line in the future," Nelson said.
A revised plan incorporating a force main was submitted to PennDOT for review in April 2013 but in August 2013, PennDOT’s review required additional items including a Utility Agreement with Aqua PA for their attachment to the bridge and a separate general permit for the force main—delaying the project further, according to Newtown Township's website.
Nelson said the permitting required through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are now causing the current delays.
"We are awaiting a response from U.S. Fish and Wildlife for the final permit to be issued," she said. "I have been told by PennDOT that it is the only item they are waiting on to schedule the letting of the project."
Nelson said once the permits are acquired, the same time frames for construction will hold but a start date can not be predicted at this time.
"We have repeatedly explained our great concern because of the bridge closures’ impact to residents, but they have their process that must be followed," she said.