Meeting planned on historic Bradford County bridge
By Eric Hrin
The (Towanda) Daily Review
LEROY TOWNSHIP – The fate of Bridge No. 16 on Curtis Wright Road in LeRoy Township remains “in limbo,” according to a county official.
The matter was brought up at a recent LeRoy Township supervisors meeting.
Due to its condition, the bridge now is closed and barricaded.
Ray Stolinas, director of the Bradford County Office of Community Planning and Grants, said the bridge is considered unsafe for travel.
Some years back, the county decided to remove the bridge, but it’s considered historic by the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission.
Stolinas said it’s a Pratt through-truss bridge that was built in 1892 and rehabilitated in 1962.
He said the county would like to tear down the bridge because of the expense of rehabilitating and maintaining it.
Due to the number of county-owned bridges, he said, the county has to spend its money wisely.
A meeting is planned between the county, the state Department of Transportaion, the historic and museum commission and the consulting engineer. No date has been set.
Stolinas said the purpose of the meeting is “to figure out what’s next” and what needs to be done “to move forward” in regard to the bridge.
According to Stolinas, the ideal situation would be for the bridge to be removed intact and used, for example, as part of a walking trail somewhere.
But, no one has come forward to buy it. The county had to satisfy the historic and museum commission’s requirements of first offering it to the nearby property owners, who declined to buy it.
Because of its historic nature, it can’t simply be torn down.
Anyone interested in the bridge may call the consulting engineer, Larson Design Group, at 570-323-6603 and ask for engineer Jon Sweeley.
Stolinas noted that a township meeting was held several years ago to gather residents’ opinions on whether County Bridge No. 16 or No. 17 should be replaced. Bridge No. 16 is downstream from Bridge No. 17, which is on Crofut Road.
He said the residents wanted Bridge No. 17 replaced because it was a straight approach between Route 414 and Southside Road while Bridge No. 16 had a “skewed, curved approach to it.”
Subsequently, Susquehanna Valley Construction completed building a new Bridge No. 17 to replace the old one, which had been closed for 10 years and had deteriorated.