TYRONE, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The project to restore a beloved bridge in Tyrone is finally moving forward after the initial proposal was introduced nearly three years ago.
When borough council decided they wanted to restore the 9th Street Bridge, they were met with some confusion about who actually owned it: them or the county.
After just five minutes of searching in the attic of the borough building, they found the deed, that stated it belonged to Tyrone.
The original 9th Street Bridge was built before the turn of the century in the late 1800s, but collapsed in 1936 during the flood. It was then rebuilt in 1938, and used until four years ago when it was condemned.
“We lose so many pieces of our history with buildings and everything else and this is a big piece,” Bob Dollar, President of the Tyrone Area Historical Society and Tyrone Borough Council member, said.
During the 1800s, the river flowing underneath the bridge was deemed a state highway.
“It was big enough and deep enough to carry ore barges. We had several iron ore quarries around, and they made iron ore that they would transport up and down the river,” Dollar said.
Once Tyrone borough had proof of ownership of the bridge, they applied for grants and permits to start the restoration of not just that bridge, but the railroad bridge right across from it.
As the project has slowly moved forward, the community shared what they loved most about it.
“It went from being a good project, a community project to restore history to this is personal, not just for myself, but for a ton of other people,” David Snyder, Tyrone Borough Council member, said.
While the project will bring both spots up to code, deforest the area below, make everything ADA accessible, this is not a one and done deal.
“It’s actually a lifetime maintenance permit for the bridge, so the borough has it and we’re ready to go,” Dollar said.
Right now, the borough is still in the bidding process for the project. The goal is to officially start working in September with an end date being in Spring 2021.