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Wall on Route 435 Bridge Collapses

ELMHURST TOWNSHIP — PennDOT has put an emergency repair plan in place after a bridge partially collapsed Monday afternoon in Lackawanna County. It happene...
LACKA BRIDGE COLLAPSE1

ELMHURST TOWNSHIP -- PennDOT has put an emergency repair plan in place after a bridge partially collapsed Monday afternoon in Lackawanna County.

It happened around 3 p.m. Monday near Elmhurst.

Crews from PennDOT were out along a bridge on Route 435 in Elmhurst Township after its retaining wall fell into Roaring Brook.

Inspectors were out along the bridge, checking to see how bad the damage was.

For folks passing through, they were shocked to see the ground under the bridge partially gone.

“That's nerve-wracking to see that much dirt gone out of there and the road hasn`t collapsed or anything. That`s surprising,” said Dorothy Meyers.

“I’m really glad that there was no one hurt at this time, at the point where it did collapse. It could have been more serious by far,” said Theresa Meyers. “I`m just thankful that nobody was injured here and that`s the extent of it.”

PennDOT immediately put an emergency repair plan in place so work can start as soon as possible.

“We`re going to start getting some temporary shoring there underneath the bridge to hold the dirt back and then we`re going to move all the traffic over. We will be able to keep two lanes through here. We`re going to put some jersey barrier down there. We`re going to move all the traffic over to the left side,” said James May with PennDOT.

“It`s a very well used road, both ways, so you really got to do something with that quickly,” said Dorothy Meyers.

PennDOT says it`s not clear what caused the retaining wall to collapse, saying it could be any number of factors. It does say it is an older bridge. It was built in 1948.

PennDOT says the good news is the bridge is still safe for traffic and Route 435 can remain open while work is going on.

That work is expected to take months.

“We can still use the road, which is also a very important factor because it is a very busy road. It leads to so many different parts of the area that we use all the time,” said Theresa Meyers.