WTAJ WEB 1ST: New grant to repair Centre Co. bridges

Daily Originals

Many bridges in small Centre County Municipalities are in need of repair.

Particularly three bridges, located in Spring, Curtin and Miles Township.

“On a scale of 10 to 0, these bridges, all of them rank under five, and they’re termed as poor or structurally deficient, so these are on the way of getting closed down,” said Michael Pipe, Chair, Centre County Commissioner.

But on Thursday, Centre County Commissioners met to officially sign a grant from the State Department of Transportation that gives more than $1.3 million to repair these three bridges.

The three specific bridges are the Lower Coleville Road Bridge, in Spring Township.

“Every year this bridge is getting worse and worse and the estimated cost to replace this is $800,000 for small municipalities like spring township, that’s money’s tough to come by,” said David Capperella, Vice Chair, Spring Township Supervisors.

The Front Street Bridge, in Curtin Township.

“We’ve tried to do repairs for this bridge for years and keep up own our own,” said Wayne Stover, Chairman, Curtin Township Supervisors. “but there wasn’t a way to do so.”

And the Fox Gap Road Bridge in Miles Township.

Bridges that Senator Jake Corman says can get caught in the shadow of bridges on more popular roads.

“When you think of infrastructure, a lot of times you’ll think of the Waddle Road Interchange or the I-99/I-80 interchange, those are big projects, we get that, they’re important,” said Senator Jake Corman. “But if you live in a rural community, these are just as important because if you lose access of these bridges, then your detour is going to be significant.”

And funding for these bridges could mean other new bridge repairs are one the way.

“What this grant does, it allows us to do three bridges right away and all those other bridges in the que, waiting to be done, many of which are just as important to these communities, suddenly rise up higher in the que and we can get to them a lot quicker,” said Eric Bernier, Coordinating Committee Chair, Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The Commissioners plan to have funds to complete one to two additional bridge projects.

As for the three bridges that received funding Thursday, Centre County residents can expect to be driving over the new bridges in 2020.

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