By Kaylee Lindenmuth
GILBERTON - The first phase of a long awaited reconstruction project of the Gold Star Highway could begin within a month, according to PennDOT.
The first phase of the project will be the reconstruction of the bridge which brings the Gold Star over Gilberton, the Mahanoy Creek, Reading and Northern Railroad, and State Route 4030.
The bridge was built in 1963, and is rated as being in "poor" condition, according to PennDOT's listing of bridge conditions, available online. The bridge has been subject to frequent repairs, including work scheduled to begin tomorrow and last through the week. That road work will have lane restriction with flagging from 7:00am to 3:00pm.
The project will be conducted in a similar fashion as the replacement of the Gold Star Bridge in Shenandoah borough a few years ago. Traffic will be reduced to two lanes as half of the bridge is demolished and built, then, when that half is done, traffic will use the new side and work will begin on the old side.
Construction work will be done by HRI Inc, of State College, Centre County, who was awarded the $11.6 Million contract.
According to PennDOT, the project is in a "post-award" phase and the earliest work could be permitted to begin is April 15.
The second phase of the project, which is expected to begin next year, will involve a complete reconstruction and resurfacing of Route 924 from Frackville borough to the Ringtown/Brandonville split atop Locust Mountain, including Main Street in Shenandoah.
That project is in the final design phase, and contracts have not yet been awarded, and potential traffic pattern impacts have yet to be determined, according to PennDOT.
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