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Lime Valley Road Bridge: Preserving History

Jan 30, 2024

96 years ago, the Lime Valley Road bridge was built over Pequea Creek in Lancaster County, connecting West Lampeter and Strasburg Townships. Since its construction in 1927, this concrete cantilevered girder bridge witnessed extensive use and is now recognized as one of the few remaining cantilevered girder bridges in the country. In order to preserve the aesthetics, and potentially the lifespan of this significant bridge, our Highway & Bridge team was called in to make repairs.

After years of wear and tear from vehicles, farm equipment and pedestrians, the bridge was in need of structural repairs to the arches, bridge deck and parapets. In addition to the structural repairs, our team was tasked with repairing portions of the bridge’s concrete facade. The only catch was that we had to ensure the new concrete would seamlessly match the existing.

Before the concrete repairs could begin, our team got to work on the structural repairs. While preparing for this work, the crew discovered serious issues with the grades they were given. With experience in surveying, project manager Ron Brown wasn’t going to let this challenge hold the team back. They grabbed their equipment and cross-sectioned the bridge, surveying every 20 feet to determine new and accurate grades.

With the structural repairs in progress, we turned our focus to the color-matching process for the concrete. Teamed up with PennDOT’s district historic resource consultant, we kicked off this process by power washing the bridge to remove the years of built-up dirt and debris. With no room for mistakes, the team utilized a colorimeter, a three-channeled device that “sees” color exactly like the human eye, to get an accurate color match from
the bridge.

Due to the age of the bridge and the natural changes in color, our team took several color samples in different areas on the bridge and supplied them to the district historic consultant to review. Once approved, we found a supplier that could create this specially pigmented concrete and we repaired the bridge without a hitch!

Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of foreman Vinnie Oliviero, his crew, and project manager Ron Brown, this new and challenging project was completed with few delays! The Lime Valley Road Bridge is now open to traffic and will hopefully live on for decades to come.

Categories: Featured Stories, Completed Projects

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