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Man who damaged covered bridge to be held responsible by county

Published August 26. 2011 05:02PM

Carbon County officials plan to hold the man who damaged the covered bridge in Lower Towamensing Township financially responsible.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board awarded the contract for repairs to the bridge to lowest bidder Home Solutions Partners of Palmerton, who bid $33,089 for structural repairs, as well as replacing the roof of the bridge.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, explained that the county's insurance provider, PCoRP, will pay for the damages caused by Joseph Chiariello of Albrightsville, who in June drove a large commercial truck through the bridge, hitting several structural beams and snapped them off.

When asked if the county will go after Chiariello to recover the costs of the project, O'Gurek said, "Absolutely. Our insurance company will be going after the responsible party."

O'Gurek also said they are also pursuing the new roof because officials believe it is necessary.

He noted that the county engineer said that portions of the roof will need to be removed to gain access to the beams underneath.

"When you have to start tearing off parts of the roof you think that should be part of the claim," O'Gurek said, adding that it has yet to be determined if that part of the project will be paid for by PCoRP.

Work on the bridge should begin very soon.

Last week, O'Gurek said that under the specifications, once the contractor is notified that he won the contract, the contractor has 30 days to complete the work.

The covered bridge, which is located in the Little Gap section of Lower Towamensing Township, has been closed to traffic since it was damaged.

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