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EDITORIALS
July 28, 2021

            For more than two decades the Main Street bridge over the abandoned Reading Railroad in Pennsburg has been a topic of local discussions.

            The sight distance became even more of a safety issue when a traffic light was installed at Eleventh and Main Streets at the borough line with Red Hill.

            Demolishing the bridge and improving the sight distance has been on PennDOT's to-do list for many years.  Recently, it has come closer to reality instead of "sometime in the future."

            The bridge can either be replaced, with a lower profile to improve sight distance or it can be demolished and filled in.  The first would cost more and take more time than the second. 

            Main Street (Route 29) is the main thoroughfare connecting Pennsburg and Red Hill.  Detours required on state-owned roads would take motorists several miles out of their way during construction – and we're talking many months.

            The railroad right-of-way has been abandoned for decades and basically ends at Eleventh Street, going south, and has been taken over by several property owners going north and leading up to Pottstown Ave. (Route 663).  Re-acquiring that land would be an expense the Montgomery County need not incur.  Just go back a couple of decades and see what the costs were to re-acquire the rights-of-way for trails in the lower end of the Perkiomen Valley.

            Money well spent there, but not so much up here.

            Replacing the bridge to allow a walk through for a future trail that may or may not ever be built is a waste of money and time.  Money that can be used for a more practical trail, and extended construction time that could cost local businesses customers.  Now is not the time to be piling on more hardships for local businesses.

            Pennsburg officials would prefer a trail along the Macoby Creek.  That makes more sense. 

            Upper Hanover's Macoby Run Park is located along the Macoby Creek at Eleventh Street.  Pennsburg's Nature Center is located along the Macoby Creek at Fifth Street.  Wouldn't it be a better fit to design and build a trail linking the two?

            How much money will Montgomery County spend to decide whether or not we should spend more money to build a bridge with a walkway under it that may never be used; something local officials and neighbors don't want; and something that will cause additional hardship to local businesses and motorists?

            If a trail is desired by Montgomery County officials in that area, then all efforts should be directed to a trail that links Macoby Run Park with the Pennsburg Nature Center.

            Heck, it's only two blocks away and a creek-side trail linking a park with a nature center is more practical than a trail to nowhere in the middle of town.

            You save money, time, lessen the hardships for the businesses, and create a much more desirable recreational location.

· End of article ·  


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