PennDOT Closes Shippingport Bridge

After a bridge inspection Tuesday discovered that the road deck was buckling when trucks went by, PennDOT decided to close the Ohio River span that conveys PA Rte 168 between Midland and Shippingport for emergency repairs.  It is estimated the bridge will be completely closed for roughly one week in order to make it safe for travel.  The bridge was already rated structurally deficient and is scheduled to begin major repairs in November lasting for 3 years.  Of course, there are concerns about evacuation routes should an incident take place at the Shippingport nuclear plant, but the bridge just isn’t safe right now.  The posted PennDOT detour is to take PA 68 east through Industry to Rt. 60 and use the Vanport Bridge to cross the Ohio, then take PA 18 south for several miles before making the right turn onto Shippingport Hill Rd down into Shippingport running back into 168 (and reverse for northbound 168 traffic).  Another viable routing would be to take PA 68 west to the Ohio line, continuing on OH 39 through the East End section of East Liverpool to US Rt 30 using the Jennings Randolph Bridge to cross the Ohio into West Virginia and proceed several miles to Laughlin’s Corner.  Turn left to pick up 168 north and go through Hookstown to Shippingport, or turn right if your destination was south and Florence/Burgettstown (and reverse for opposite travel).  Safe driving!

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