Rep. Lawrence Letter to PennDOT - SR 472 Bridge Rehabilitation

May 9, 2011


Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

District 8

2140 Herr Street
Harrisburg, PA  17103-1699


Dear Sirs,


I trust you are well.


It has come to my attention that PennDOT has proposed the closure and replacement of the bridge crossing the Octoraro Reservoir, also known as State Route 472.  I greatly appreciate PennDOT’s attention to this vital roadway, and the continuing effort to improve the infrastructure of Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania.  However, I am concerned about the length of time proposed for the bridge closure.  Reports state that the road is to be completely closed to traffic for six months or more.


Closing this bridge for an extended period of time will present a significant burden to the local community.  Several businesses near the bridge that depend upon significant daily traffic flow would likely close their doors forever if the contemplated closure is put into place.  In addition, this bridge serves as a vital link between Oxford and Quarryville, and the commercial traffic between these two boroughs would be greatly impacted by a lengthy closure of the road.


In addition to the aforementioned issues, the proposed traffic detour has significant flaws.  In particular, traffic is to be detoured via SR 896 through the village of Homeville.  A quick succession of 90 degree turns makes 896 difficult to negotiate for tractor trailers, a situation that would be exacerbated by the additional traffic proposed via the detour.  In particular, two tractor trailers meeting in Homeville would have great difficulty passing each other.


As I understand it, a one-way “stop and go” traffic light was evaluated for this project, but it was determined to be impractical due to the width of the current bridge.  I ask PennDOT to reevaluate this scenario, perhaps with an eye towards utilizing a “stop and go” for the first part of the project, then closing the entire bridge for a brief time in the middle of the project, then using a “stop and go” on the other lane of traffic for the end of the project. 


An additional alternative would be to build the bridge on the shore or next to the current bridge on a pontoon, then floating the bridge to the proper location and installing it accordingly. 


I appreciate the time and energy put into this project to date, and your consideration of my concerns with the bridge replacement.  I look forward to hearing from you.






John Lawrence

State Representative

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


cc: The Honorable Bryan Cutler

The Honorable Arthur Hershey

Lloyd Kreider

West Nottingham Twp Board of Supervisors

East Nottingham Twp Board of Supervisors

Upper Oxford Twp Board of Supervisors

Lower Oxford Twp Board of Supervisors

Oxford Borough Council