Route 420 Bridge over Darby Creek in Prospect Park closed indefinitely for structural repairs

Commuters in Delaware County using the Wanamaker Avenue Bridge are going to have to find a different way around as officials closed the southbound portion of the bridge.

According to PennDOT, the Wanamaker Avenue Bridge over Darby Creek in Prospect Park and Tinicum Township, or Route 420, southbound, is being closed indefinitely. During a recent inspection, engineers found beam and pedestal decay, enough to make the bridge unsafe for travelers.

Inspectors noted that the southbound side of the 420 Bridge had significant beam deterioration to adjacent and localized beams, as well as decay of the bearing pedestal of pier two.

This degradation of the structure is enough to warrant the closure, as it threatens load-bearing capabilities and the overall safety to drivers.

"We have an old system, a really old system and it's just an old bridge, built in 1930. Reconstructed in 1951. So, the service life is ending," Deputy Communications Director of PennDOT, Brad Rudolph stated.

The bridge carries over 19,000 drivers daily. Engineers are tasked with developing a plan for a temporary repair.

"The structure is just not safe. We had to close it," Rudolph added.


The owner of American Pie says 80 percent of their business is delivery and the bridge is their main way in and out of Tinicum Township, not to mention customers who drive over the bridge for pickup.

"No one's going to want to go through all that extra aggravation to make that extra trip and drive all the way around Ridley Park to get to America's Pie," owner Becky Sciarrino said. "They will just go somewhere else."

Truck driver Michael Tezla stated, "It's going to make a mess out of everything. I'm a truck driver and I use that route quite frequently."

PennDOT says the emergency closure was not planned, but Sciarrino hopes the communication improves during a time her pizza shop feels cut off. "Especially at the busiest time of year. It's 17 days till Christmas. Do you know, this could literally put us out of business. It's frightening."