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Covered bridge repairs set for May

Published March 12. 2014 05:01PM

The deck of the covered bridge in Lower Towamensing Township will be repaired.

Township Supervisor Ron Walbert responded to an inquiry at Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting.

"The bridge will be repaired," Walbert said. "The target date is around May."

Resident Herman Bollinger then asked supervisors specifically what kind of deck will be built.

Supervisors Chairman Brent Green told Bollinger supervisors weren't quite sure.

At last week's Carbon County Commissioners meeting, the board voted 2-0 to authorize advertising the invitation to bid for the replacement of the open grid steel deck and structural steel painting project on bridge 17, the covered bridge, located in the Little Gap section of the township.

Commissioner William O'Gurek abstained from the vote due to conflict of interest with his other employment.

The project is estimated to cost more than $300,000, which will be covered through state funding.

The project will consist of replacing the steel deck and sandblasting the remaining steel on the bridge and repainting it; as well as repairing any worn wooden arches and studs.

The bridge has been the victim of numerous vehicle strikes over the years, which resulted in several repairs.

Also on Tuesday, Bollinger revisited the current signage at the intersection of Covered Bridge Road and Lower Smith Gap Road.

Bollinger asked supervisors who was responsible for putting up a warning stop sign.

Township road foreman Charles Shupp said, "Nobody knows. It's been there since I've been here."

Green added, "We don't know who put it up."

That response didn't bode well with Bollinger.

"You're not telling the truth, Mr. Green," Bollinger said. "How come your two buddies (fellow township supervisors) don't have an answer?"

Green shot back, "Every time we give you an answer, you don't accept it."

Bollinger quipped back, "And you're not telling the truth."

Green responded, "That's because we don't know who put it up."

Shupp reiterated that, "That's been there since before I started working here."

Once again, Bollinger stated, "You guys are not telling the truth. Where you screwed up was when you brought that clown down from Summit Hill."

Last spring, township engineer Ron Tirpak, of Carbon Engineering Inc. of Summit Hill, told township officials he doesn't believe any changes were necessary to the signage that exists at the intersection.

Green said, "(Tirpak) recommended we let it go. His recommendation was that we don't do anything because we have adequate coverage at that intersection."

Bollinger has asked for several months that an additional stop sign be placed near the intersection because of crashes at the intersection.

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