Another bypass bridge north of Waynesboro debated

October 02, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors must soon decide whether to use lobbyists in a quest for federal funding toward an $8 million to $10 million bridge proposed on the relief route being built north of Waynesboro.

However, the supervisors on Wednesday indicated they might not want to build the section of Washington Township Boulevard between Pa. 316 and Pa. 16 west of town anytime in the next several years.

Supervisor Christopher Firme said the township should concentrate on its bridge construction project already under way and paving of Washington Township Boulevard to Country Club and North Welty roads.

"Let's finish those up before we tackle another section," he said.

At issue is a 1,000-foot bridge that would span the West Branch of the Antietam Creek over Prices Church Road. It would resemble the one on Pa. 997 South at Welty Road.


A pair of township officials met with a representative of U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., on Wednesday morning. They learned that federal transportation funding will be debated in Congress starting in late 2009. Five years would then pass before another round of funding.

"The competition for this pot of road money seems to be really, really intense," Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

Christopher asked the supervisors to consider hiring Delta Development Group consultants for two years with a fee of about $216,000. He acknowledged the high expense, but said he's heard the Delta Development Group successfully had all 16 of its projects funded in the last federal transportation bill.

"The plan would be to get federal money, match it with 10 percent local money and 10 percent PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) money," Christopher said.

Ideally, PennDOT would then own and maintain the bridge, he said.

"This is planning for three to five years from now," Christopher said.

Supervisor Elaine Gladhill questioned the advantages of extending the $16.7 million Washington Township Boulevard from Pa. 316 to Pa. 16 west of Waynesboro. The relief route is currently engineered from its existing start near Wal-Mart in Rouzerville, Pa., to Pa. 316 north of the Borough of Waynesboro.

Often, commercial and residential developers are paving the relief route or paying traffic impact fees for its construction.

Christopher said the new bridge could provide an alternate, safe option for motorists if something were to happen to Memorial Bridge near the Fraternal Order of the Eagles or the Marsh Road bridge at the old Cold Springs Park. The latter bridge is scheduled for repairs in 2010 or 2011.

Christopher said the 10 percent of funds contributed locally to the bridge project would be used to acquire property right of way agreements.

The supervisors agreed to host a presentation by the Delta Development Group of Mechanicsburg, Pa.

"I don't think I'd vote for it, but I've never heard lobbying groups before. It'd be interesting," Supervisor John Gorman said.

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