Leroy Twp. supervisors OK bridge analysis
BY ERIC HRIN
LEROY TWP. - Leroy Township supervisors are considering options for VanFleet Bridge.
Supervisors recently voted to have Dawood Engineering Inc. perform a structural analysis of the bridge.
During the board's regular monthly meeting this week, supervisor Jason Krise said "the time has come" to make a decision on the bridge. He made the motion for the analysis, which was approved by a 2-0 vote with Krise and supervisor Ted Tomlinson voting yes. Supervisor David Atherton-Ely was absent. The bridge was formally listed on the meeting agenda as the "E. VanFleet bridge."
When asked for comment, Krise said the structural analysis will determine if the bridge can be rehabilitated and reopened to light traffic or if it's beyond repair and would have to be removed with a new structure built.
VanFleet Road has been closed for about 21 months, due to damage the bridge sustained in the 2011 flooding.
According to Tomlinson, the bridge on the road is structurally insufficient. The concrete base underneath has been washed out and the surface has been partially washed away. The road is blocked, and was closed on the advice of a PennDOT employee, for the safety of motorists.
Prior to the vote, Tomlinson provided an update on the three options for the bridge. The township had conferred with an engineer from Dawood Engineering. "We discussed all kinds of options with them," Tomlinson said.
He said supervisors could remove the existing structure, start out with a new design, and build a new bridge; rehabilitate the existing one; or simply don't rebuild the bridge, close the road and remove the existing bridge.
According to Tomlinson, the first option would probably be the most expensive one.
With the rehabilitation option, he said, it would cost money to find out just what needed to be done to rehabilitate the bridge, and it could involve putting in a sluice. Under the "no-build" option, he said, a use study might have to be done to see how many people use it. He also mentioned the prospect of "permanent barricades" under this option.
Krise said that if the analysis finds that the bridge can't be rehabilitated, then the supervisors can look at the other two options.
The supervisors are considering doing a road survey as well to determine how heavily the bridge is used, which would factor into the decision on what to do with the bridge, according to Krise.
Dawood should have the proposal for the structural analysis to the supervisors in the near future, he said.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: email@example.com.