Maclay Street Bridge to be replaced; PennDOT opens project comment window

The Maclay Street Bridge in Harrisburg

A critical link in Harrisburg is set for an upgrade, as PennDOT prepares to replace the Maclay Street Bridge.

The PA Department of Transportation on Friday unveiled its project website and opened up the comment period for its plan to replace the bridge, which carries about 25,000 vehicles a day.

The comment period lasts through Aug. 5. In addition, PennDOT plans one in-person public meeting on July 19.

Under the current schedule, the $35 million project would begin in 2024 and last for about two years. The project extends from the Maclay Street/7th Street intersection to Julia Street, which is a half-block west of Cameron Street.

PennDOT describes the existing, 82-year-old bridge as in “poor condition with advanced deterioration to the primary load carrying members.”

Major elements of the bridge project include:

  • Construction of a new, four-span steel girder bridge over the Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Rail Yard, replacing the existing seven-span bridge, which was built in 1940.
  • Raising the profile of the Maclay Street roadway to increase the vertical clearance of the bridge from 21 feet to 23 feet to better accommodate double-stacked rail cars.
  • Widening of Maclay Street from four lanes to five lanes in the project area.
  • Addition of bicycle lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions.

As part of the project, the small bridge carrying Maclay Street over Paxton Creek also will be replaced.

The width of both bridges will be increased from 62 feet to 86 feet. The new bridges will carry five 11-foot-wide lanes, two 6-foot-wide bike lanes, and two 8-foot-wide sidewalks (see rendering, below).

According to PennDOT, construction will be performed in stages while maintaining three lanes of traffic and at least one sidewalk in each stage. The temporary lane configuration will carry two lanes of traffic westbound into the city and one lane of traffic eastbound out of the city.

For more information and to comment on the proposal, visit the project website. The in-person open house is slated for July 19, 6 to 8 p.m., at the PA Farm Show Complex Keystone Conference Center, 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg.

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