A century and a half ago, workers began building one of the most iconic bridges in the United States.
It took them 14 years to finish the 5,989 feet of the Brooklyn Bridge at a cost of $15 million.
Colerain Township's bridge project gets underway this week, and it rivals the mile-long, 150-year-old Brooklyn span only in the length of time it has taken to complete.
The tiny bridge that carries Liberty Lane over Gable's Run is just 18 feet long but, by the time the job is finished, it will have taken seven years to complete.
The work itself will take about five weeks - one week to put the new concrete deck down and four weeks of waiting until the concrete is strong enough to support traffic. The bridge was closed this week and is expected to reopen on August 19. David Spangler Excavating submitted the winning bid of $79,500.
During the project, Liberty Ln. will be closed between Mt. Eden Rd. and Spruce Grove Rd. There are no houses or businesses on that stretch of Liberty Ln.
Getting to the starting point has been a long and permit-ridden process. The township originally wanted to replace the bridge in 2012 but ran into increasingly complex permit requirements and required environmental studies.
Originally, the township wanted to replace the bridge deck - the surface that supports traffic - and the footers that hold the deck up. Before the new footers could be installed, the township had to have test holes drilled to determine how deep the footers should be.
Then came the environmental study to make sure the adjacent swamp wasn't home to the endangered bog turtle.
If the township had been able to replace the footers and the deck in 2012, it would have cost about $80,000. By last year, the estimated cost of that project had risen to between $350,000 and $500,000. That's when Colerain decided to keep the existing footers and simply replace the deck.
The work was scheduled for the summer of 2018 but wet weather again delayed the project. This year, Chester Water Authority lowered the level of the nearby Octoraro Reservoir. That also kept water from backing up into Gable's Run, assuring the heavy rains have not created high enough water to delay the project.