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New Franklin County bridge open for business

August 20, 2003|by Donald R. Currier

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Former Franklin County Commissioner Samuel W. Worley drove his 1931 Franklin over Franklin County's newest bridge Tuesday, a span in Hamilton Township, Pa., that replaces one that was a few years older than his antique car.

Planning for the new $1.2 million bridge over the Conococheague Creek on Boyer Mill Road began more than a decade ago, when Worley still was in office, according to Kelly Livermore, assistant chief administrator for the county.

"We have five other bridge projects in the works," said Commissioner G. Warren Elliott, who rode across the bridge in the Franklin's rumble seat with Commissioner Bob Thomas, while Commissioner Cheryl Plummer rode shotgun with Worley.

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By the end of the month, another new bridge on Rumler Road will be completed, Elliott told a group of state, county and township officials that included state Reps. Jeff Coy and Pat Fleagle.

The Boyer Mill Road bridge replaces an old steel bridge built when Calvin Coolidge was president. The county owns 94 bridges and replaces them at the rate of about two a year, Elliott said.

"The priority are either poorly designed bridges in heavily traveled areas or the one-lane bridges" in the county, he said.

"You can see how busy this road is," Elliott said as traffic passed by. The winding road through a rural area of the township from Warm Spring Road into Chambersburg is becoming a popular secondary southern bypass to Chambersburg, he said.

With the 160-foot bridge and improvements to its approaches, the bridge project covers 925 feet, Livermore said. Actual construction cost was $937,000, with the rest spent on engineering, right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation paid 80 percent of the project's cost, Livermore said.

The new bridge has straighter approaches and better sighting for drivers, Elliott said. Hamilton Township Supervisor Mike Kessinger said the township has been making some improvements to the road, including modifying one of the nearby curves.

Cutting back embankments and widening the road also are planned, Kessinger said.

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