Derry Township bridge to close up to 2 months

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – A backhoe sits next to Park Avenue in Derry Township.

Starting on Sunday night, crews will replace the Route 743 bridge which runs over Spring Creek between Hersheypark and ZooAmerica.

“It is going to be a royal pain in the butt for local businesses, local drivers, and for me,” William Healis said.

PennDOT officials said that about 11,500 drivers use the stretch of Park Avenue every day.

Administrators said that two beams on the bridge need to be replaced and there’s also curb work that needs to be done.

Healis, who uses the stretch on a regular basis, said he worries what the closure will mean for his commute.

“It’s just a very easy access to the whole area right through this little section,” he added.

PennDOT officials said that during the work, which could last for two months, drivers should use Hersheypark Drive and Route 422 as alternates.

Drivers could also use Park Boulevard and Mansion Road as detours.

Debra Ororak is a manager at the Parkside Hotel, which is right next to where the work will happen. She said when similar work was done last year, they lost a significant amount of business, and she worries it could happen again.

“We noticed a lot of people that normally come in over lunch or dinner hour weren’t able to,” Ororak said. “They just try to find some place a little closer or more convenient.”

PennDOT officials said that once work is finished, the bridge will no longer be on the list of structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania.

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