Thursday, September 16, 2021

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Pennsburg Council President Seeks Meeting about Bridge Proposal
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-09-08

            The president of Pennsburg Council registered her displeasure with a proposal by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to replace a bridge in the borough. Last week, Diane Stevens sent a letter to all three Montgomery County Commissioners.

            In a Sept. 1 letter, she reiterated council's opposition to the inclusion of a tunnel in the plans for the reconstruction of a new structure on Route 29 between 10th and 11th streets. Stevens requested an in-person or Zoom meeting to discuss the matter with the commissioners.

            Late last month, a member of the Montgomery County Planning Commission informed municipal officials that the tunnel will remain in PennDOT's proposal to replace the bridge. In an Aug. 27 letter, William R. Hartman – the trails and open space planning manager for the commission – explained that the funds to build the new bridge and trail passageway are secured and ready to use. He states that forfeiting a portion of these funds by eliminating the passageway will not realize an alternative return.

            Construction of the new bridge, fully funded by the state, will cost approximately $4.2 million. Work could commence as early as April of 2022, according to Robyn Briggs, PennDOT's community relations coordinator for Engineering District 6.

            The council president wrote that council is opposed to the planned raised bridge near the border with Red Hill, designed to accommodate a potential connection to  the County Wide Trial System, for several reasons. Repeating a similar concern, Stevens argued that while "council supports a trail system, it is not logical in this location."

            She claims officials in both municipalities agree that an appropriate alternative would be to position the trail on East 11th Street and along the Macoby Creek, explaining that the route would pass through the Pennsburg Nature Preserve on East 5th Street with existing parking for trail users.

            Representatives are soundly in favor of a level bridge replacement, according to Stevens. She writes that it would be less costly and result in fewer traffic issues.


 

 

 

 

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