Athens Township Supervisors discuss bridge conditions
Athens Township supervisors discussed the next steps to take with the township's aging bridges Wednesday.
Supervisor Christine Vough questioned during the supervisors' monthly meeting whether the township should hire an engineering firm to assess the bridges, some of which she said are in poor shape. Bridge reports from 2011 showed that some bridges needed maintenance or repair, she said.
Calling the reports "embarrassing," Vough pointed out that some bridges "are on a yearly inspection list because they continue to not be taken care of."
Vough specifically suggested Larson Design Group of Williamsport because they prepare the bridge reports through the state Department of Transportation and are already familiar with the bridges, she said.
Supervisor Jack Walter said he was not in favor of the idea, saying he would prefer to keep engineering costs at a minimum.
Township employees may be able to review the bridges themselves without an added cost to the township, he said. In addition, the township's public works department already has repairs or replacements planned, he said. Crews replaced a bridge on Meadowlark Drive with an aluminum box culvert over the summer, and creek crossings on Murray Creek Road and Highland Drive are next on the replacement list. The existing structures in those areas contribute to flooding problems, he said.
"We know the bridges we've got to do," Walter said.
While Walter acknowledged that many bridges in the township need replacing, he added that public works employees have maintained the aging structures enough that they routinely pass inspection. "We have not neglected those bridges," he said.
Supervisors and other township officials will examine the bridges during a road inspection scheduled for Saturday, said supervisor Ronald Reagan.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.