Montco Bridge Suddenly Closed for Safety, Will Remain Closed Indefinitely

A heavily-used bridge spanning the Perkiomen Creek in Montgomery County has been shut down indefinitely because transit officials say it's structurally unsafe.

The Graterford Road Bridge, just off of Route 29, crosses the waterway in Perkiomen Township, Pa. It links the town to nearby Skippack and served as a main thoroughfare to the state's SCI Graterford Prison.

But an inspection earlier this week discovered the bridge had serious cracks in its steel support beams and water deck, according to a PennDOT spokesman. The agency chose to shut down the bridge, which was rated to handle up to 14 tons, as a precaution.

Pennsylvania has the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country, according to state data. Officials say they've cut the number of problem bridges in the Philadelphia region from 600 to 463 in recent years, but that many remain.

A PennDOT spokesman said the small bridge will not be high on the priority list and doesn't expect it to be repaired for several years.

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