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Pa. bridge named in memory of former bridge engineer

August 04, 2006|by DON AINES

ST. THOMAS, Pa. - The late Gordon Lambert served as Franklin County's bridge engineer for more than 40 years. On Thursday, the county dedicated its newest bridge in his memory.

As an engineer at Nassaux-Hemsley in Chambersburg, Pa., Lambert, who died in May, oversaw the inspection, design and maintenance of the 93 bridges owned by the county, Assistant County Administrator Kelly Livermore said.

"Mr. Lambert had a passion for his work," Livermore said. "Gordon was truly a team player."

Bridge No. 46 on Community Center Road crosses tiny Philson Creek in St. Thomas Township, said Township Supervisor Tim Sollenberger. The new bridge replaced a one-lane bridge with a wooden deck and a low weight restriction.

The age of the old bridge was unknown, according to county records. Chris Hann of George S. Hann & Son of Fort Littleton, Pa., and the contractor for the project, said it appeared to have been built in the 1950s.

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"It's better to build bridges than to build walls and Gordon exemplified that," County Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said. He noted that Lambert served the community in other ways, including as a former Chambersburg School Board member and chairman of the former Chambersburg Transit Authority.

The new bridge, which Elliott said cost nearly $444,000, opened last fall and the township improved the approaches in the spring. With a two-lane concrete deck and no weight limitation, it can handle agricultural equipment and fire and rescue vehicles that in the past had to take other routes to bypass the old bridge, he said.

"This is an area that's growing," Elliott said of the still mostly rural setting near the Edenville Community Center.

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