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School district opposes bridge destruction

November 11, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plan to tear down an overpass on Interstate 81 is being opposed by the Chambersburg Area School District.

"It makes no sense to remove a perfectly good bridge that we use quite often," School Board President D. Eugene Gayman said Tuesday of plans to tear down the Walker Road overpass. The resolution opposing demolition of the overpass was approved on a 7-2 vote.

Earlier this year, transportation officials unveiled Alternative D Modified for a proposed Exit 7. The plan calls for building the diamond interchange 1,300 feet south of the Walker Road overpass and demolishing the existing bridge.

Gayman said the overpass is used by school buses taking students from Greene Township to schools in Chambersburg. Board member Penny Stoner said funneling school buses onto an overpass at an interchange would be more hazardous than the existing bridge.

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Greene Township Supervisor Paul Ambrose, an opponent of Exit 7, said Wednesday that the Franklin County Farm Bureau passed its own resolution opposing removal of the bridge last month.

Five million dollars in funding for the interchange demonstration project was first approved more than a decade ago in a federal highway bill. The price tag for the project has since escalated to more than $10 million, according to the Department of Transportation.

Greene Township has spent more than $625,000 in legal fees opposing the interchange project, Ambrose said earlier this year.

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