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Bridge into Butler scheduled for ‘large-scale rehabilitation’ in 2026

The General Richard Butler Bridge carries traffic over Connoquenessing Creek, Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad, Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad and Quarry Street. The bridge is scheduled for a rehabilitation project in 2026. Eddie Trizzino/Butler Eagle
PennDOT plans to leave 1 lane open each way during 8-month project

An average of 12,270 vehicles cross the General Richard Butler Bridge in Butler every day, but since it was constructed in 2006, it hasn’t seen a major rehabilitation project.

That will change in summer 2026, when the bridge undergoes a preservation and rehabilitation project, that will involve the replacement and reconstruction of several parts of the bridge.

Tina Gibbs, of the state Department of Transportation District 10, said it is typical for a bridge the size of the link between Pittsburgh Road and Butler’s Main Street to go many years without seeing a major reconstruction project. Additionally, the bridge has not seen any major crashes that have resulted in the need for large-scale repairs.

“There has been general maintenance, but this will be the first preservation project for it,” Gibbs said. “A lot of times if there has been a tractor-trailer crash that has affected something structurally, they will need repairs more immediately. The bridge has held up pretty well for us.”

PennDOT unveiled plans to rehabilitate the bridge earlier this month, with a virtual presentation documenting the procedure on the District 10 webpage. The project is in the final stages of preliminary design, with bids not expected to be requested until 2026.

Although the project is still several years away, Gibbs said PennDOT often reveals plans for projects of this scale years ahead of time.

“This is pretty much within the general scope of a timeline that is reasonable,” she said. “There are small-scale projects, but when it gets to this point, it's an entire rehab project.”

Gibbs said the project is expected to take about eight months to finish, and work will span the entirety of the bridge. Despite the scale of the project, workers will maintain one open lane of traffic in each direction throughout the construction, according to Gibbs.

“They will be flushing the drainage, doing some concrete repairs to the piers, some areas of the railing need to be replaced,” she said. “It will be full end to end work, but it will be focused on one part at a time.”

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