NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The old bridge that connects Nanticoke and West Nanticoke was the topic of an informational meeting in council chambers at the Luzerne County Courthouse on Monday.
Everyone in the meeting could agree on that this current bridge isn’t meeting the needs of the area.
The bridge was built over 100 years ago and time has taken its toll on the structure. The two main points of this informational meeting were to discuss the options for the bridge and where the funding will come from once a decision is made. As it stands now there are three options on how to deal with the structure. Patch the troubled spots on the bridge, do a full replacement or build a new bridge in a nearby location.
“Alternative one, was just a rehabilitation which we really don’t seem to be discussing too much that’s $47.8 million, alternative two roughly is $40 million but that’s today’s dollars, alternative three, is $64 million in today’s dollars” said Ed Bosack, manager with Benesch Engineering Design Firm.
There were many other topics discussed Monday at the meeting concerning the bridge and the options, people here spoke about environmental concerns, People also mentioned hurdles that could delay the project approval because the bridge could be considered a historical structure. However, a main infrastructure concern was the possible widening of the bridge and creating a better approach angle for vehicles.
“We would look at Future traffic projections and we can add that additional lane which I think we in our revised report we did address and that’s something worked into the design,” said Bosack.
The Nanticoke Fire Chief also spoke at the Monday afternoon meeting to share his safety concerns about the aging bridge.
“The current state of the bridge at this point does not allow our ladder truck to access the West Nanticoke section, in its current state with the weight restriction that it currently at 15 tons, our ladder truck exceeds that by twice the weight,” explained Nanticoke Fire Chief, Mark Boncal.
The funding for the project will come from all levels of government and the Luzerne County Manager stated adamantly that the county does not have the funds to complete this project alone and will use money from casino revenues totaling $55 million.
“The state has earmarked from the casinos, so we have this LSA money, and a certain amount of $3 million each year is coming directly to Luzerne County for infrastructure projects the first project that’s on that list is the west Nanticoke and Nanticoke Bridge,” said Luzerne County Manager, Romilda Crocamo.
There will be town hall meetings around the area to discuss the options with the public.