Bridge closures are scheduled for over the next two weekends on Route 222 over the Pennsylvania Turnpike in East Cocalico Township in northeastern Lancaster County. These closures are part of the nearly $2.4-million bridge rehabilitation project that started last spring to repair these bridges.

Starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, the bridge that carries northbound Route 222 will be closed until 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5. Northbound traffic on Route 222 will be detoured around the bridge closure by way of Spur Road and Route 272 back to Route 222.

The following weekend, the bridge that carries southbound Route 222 over the turnpike will be closed at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, and reopened by 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12. Southbound traffic on Route 222 will be detoured by way of Route 272 and Spur Road.

The closures are necessary so that construction crews can safely "jack up" the bridges to remove and replace the bearings that help support the bridge beams. This rehabilitation project for the Route 222 bridges over the Pennsylvania Turnpike began on April 2. It involves bridge preservation items that include cleaning and painting the superstructure of the bridge, jacking up the bridge to replace bearings, concrete bridge deck repairs, and a latex-modified overlay to help seal the deck from water penetration and damage. This is major rehabilitation work intended to extend the useful service life of the two bridges.

PennDOT has contracted with Deblin, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to conduct the bridge preservation work at a cost of $2,394,359. The overall project is scheduled to wrap up in mid-September 2013. The intent of the contractor is to address the repairs and overlay to the bridge decks this year. This has meant that traffic on Route 222 has had to be restricted to a single lane in each direction for the 2012 construction season, but traffic should be restored to two lanes in each direction for the winter season and should also remain open for the 2013 construction season. In 2013, there should be little impact to traffic on Route 222 as the contractor concentrates on the underside of the bridges, repairing and painting the steel portions of the structures.

Both bridges were built in 1972. The northbound structure is currently classified as structurally deficient (SD). The repair work will remove the bridge from the SD category. Total traffic over these structures averages a little more than 30,000 vehicles a day, roughly 15,000 in each direction