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Work is progressing on the replacement of the Loyalsock Creek rail bridge in Lycoming County, Pa., according to the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA).To open in summer 2014 between Montoursville and Williamsport on the Lycoming Valley Railroad, the $9.1 million bridge is about 10 percent complete, JRA officials said in a project update. The original 85-year-old structure was demolished after being severely damaged from flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011.Compared with the old structure, the new bridge will be higher (three feet above water flow) and longer (474 feet versus 350 feet), and feature a wider hydraulic opening, JRA officials said."This is going to be a solid, massive structure, and a valuable addition to central Pennsylvania's short-line railroad system," said JRA Executive Director Jeff Stover.Construction currently is focused on the foundation for the first pier, the only one of the bridge's two piers that will be underwater at normal water levels, JRA officials said. Seventy steel piles will be driven into bedrock about 50 feet below the creek. The foundation for the first pier is slated for completion by November's end.As pier work continues, track in Montoursville is being removed east of the creek so the grade can be raised and a new grade crossing will be installed.
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