Salina Bridge Replacement: A New Era for Bell Township and Surrounding Areas

Bell Township, PA – A major infrastructure project is on the horizon for the residents of Bell Township, Westmoreland County, and the village of Edmon in Kiskiminetas Township, Armstrong County, as plans to replace the aging Salina Bridge move forward. The bridge, an essential link carrying state Route 1060 across the Kiskiminetas River and Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, is set for a significant upgrade.

Project Overview

Construction is expected to commence next month or in early April, introducing a modern replacement a short distance from the existing bridge. This initiative marks a crucial step towards enhancing local transportation infrastructure while acknowledging the historical significance of the current bridge.

Mekis Construction Corporation of Fenelton, Butler County, has been announced as the apparent low bidder for the project, with a bid of $33,253,483.53. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has outlined an ambitious timeline, aiming for substantial completion by late 2026, with all lanes open to traffic, and total project completion by June 2027.

Maintaining Historical Integrity

The Salina Bridge, eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, represents a vital piece of the area’s heritage. PennDOT and its partners have devised a plan that respects this legacy, ensuring the new bridge serves contemporary needs without erasing the past. The project includes the demolition of the existing bridge over the winter of 2025-26, with pieces of the bridge earmarked for donation to the Bell Township Historic Society.

Design and Features

The proposed three-span continuous composite steel plate girder bridge will address the current span’s deficiencies. Upgrades include widened approach roadways, improved intersections, enhanced drainage, and updated guiderails, signs, and pavement markings. These improvements are designed to ensure safer, more efficient travel for all.

Community and Environmental Considerations

Throughout construction, traffic will be maintained on the existing bridge, with minor detours and traffic control measures in place to minimize disruption. The project reflects a commitment to balancing infrastructure needs with environmental and historical preservation, drawing on the expertise of PennDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and consulting firms.