The Jim Thorpe Planning Commission Committee will look into utilizing the current 903 bridge for walking and bicycling after the new 903 bridge is completed. The 903 bridge project is projected to begin in 2013 and take approximately 2 years to complete.
Last week, consultants of the bridge project met to discuss the impact of historical resources due to this project. Members of the Jim Thorpe Planning Commission and Borough Council attended this meeting. Committee and board members were given the chance to ask questions and share ideas.
The chairman of the Planning Commission Committee, Lou Hall, spoke with Heather Heeter, the Senior Project Manager from PennDOT. Hall voiced his ideas about keeping the current bridge and turning it into a foot and bike bridge. "We talked after the meeting. They (the project team) are very interested in that possibility. If the borough would consider it," said Hall.
Plans for the current bridge were discussed at last week's consultation meeting and the plan is to remove the current bridge when the new one is complete. The committee discussed why it would be important to keep the current bridge. Hall stated that, "We need to take into account safety issues. The fact that we wouldn't have bikes and walkers along the same bridge as street traffic would be safer."
Committee member, John McGuire, voiced concerns about how keeping and repairing the current bridge would be funded and how much it would cost Jim Thorpe. The committee discussed that these concerns would need to be looked into and discussed with the project team. "I will set up a meeting to talk with her (Heeter) and see if this idea can be apart of the bridge project," stated Hall.