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As year long detour looms, Sellersville makes street one-way


Sellersville Borough Council is taking steps to mitigate potential traffic issues anticipated to occur when work begins this spring to rehabilitate a bridge that’s a primary route through downtown.

On Monday, borough council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that makes West Church Street (also known as Old Main Street), between Washington Avenue and North Main Street, a one-way closed to southbound traffic.

The decision comes as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation prepares to begin the planned rehabilitation of a bridge that carries North Main Street traffic over SEPTA tracks – a project that will compel a road closure and detours.

West Church/Old Main Street is narrow. Borough officials fear that motorists would start using the span to navigate around the expected road closure, potentially creating dangers.

“Sellersville Borough Council finds that in order to safely and efficiently regulate the flow of traffic in the borough during reconstruction of North Main Street, West Church Street” must be made a northbound-only one-way between Washington and North Main, the ordinance said.

A safe, regulated detour route will be in place during the bridge closure, officials have said.

The one-way designation on West Church/Old Main could remain even after the North Main Street bridge reopens following what’s expected to be about a year long rehab project.

A contractor for PennDOT will be performing the bridge rehabilitation.

Steven P. Fellin, a highway design manager for PennDOT, said work could possibly begin on June 10. Fellin explained the scope of the project.

“The project limits of work will be from the Church Road intersection to the intersection with Old Main Street,” he said. “The bridge truss will be rehabilitated, the bridge deck will be replaced, the abutments will be repaired, and approximately 75 feet of roadway reconstruction will be completed on both sides of the bridge.”

The steel through-truss bridge is at least more than 85 years old – and maybe older. The bridge is being rehabbed, rather than replaced, in part because the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission determined that steel material used in the bridge’s truss is of historic value and worthy of preservation.