Bridge Back Open in Susquehanna County

LENOX TOWNSHIP -- More than two months after a bridge replacement project in Susquehanna County sent drivers on a long detour the bridge is back open.

Crews took care of the last "road closed" signs near the bridge on Route 106 at the Lenox exit off Interstate 81.

The bridge had been closed since June while contractors replaced it working overtime, day and night to speed up the project.

"Thank God done ahead of what they predicted," said Walt Snyder of South Gibson.

Snyder picked up a prescription at Lenox Pharmacy, finally able to use the bridge instead of taking a 12-mile detour.

"It was a terrible detour, thank God I'm local and know a shorter way to get to 81," said Snyder. "This was a very big inconvenience for a lot of people."

PennDOT tells Newswatch 16 it's pleased the bridge is open on time. It's wider now and safer than the old bridge. Still, some businesses wish the state had done things differently in the lead up to the project.

"Everybody wishes there was better communication and would have been a whole lot smoother from the start," said Scott Muller of Lenox Pharmacy.

The bridge work cut off northbound traffic on Interstate 81 from gas stations and restaurants, including Bingham's.

"It was a little slow for a big part of the summer," said Craig Brindza of Bingham's.

The folks here thank PennDOT, contractors, and lawmakers for making sure the bridge was back open A.S.A.P.

"Hopefully business will pick back up now," added Brindza.

The brand new concrete bridge took 10 weeks to build. It's supposed to last at least 100 years. If and when it does need to be replaced again, it'll be in 2116, a long time from now.