Lycoming County soon will have at its fingertips bridge inspection data unparalleled by any other county in Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, the county commissioners will consider an agreement with Bassett Engineering, of Montoursville, to enter inspection data on 100 small county bridges into the state Department of Transportation's bridge inspection database.
The agreement calls for the firm, which is the county's alternate engineer, to be paid up to $17,800 for the work, Mark Murawski, county transportation planner, said Tuesday during a commissioners work session.
The firm conducted the inspections of small bridges as a first-of-its-kind pilot program in the state, Murawski said.
According to Murawski, the federal government requires all bridges more than 20 feet long to be inspected every two years.
"If they are under 20 feet-long, the feds don't require you to inspect them," he added. "In Pennsylvania, we are the only county inspecting bridges under 20 feet-long."
The federal government will pay for the engineering firm's work, he said.
The agreement calls for the work to be completed next June, but Murawski said he expects it to be done much sooner than that.
"Once the data is entered into PennDOT's database, we will have the best bridge data in the state," he said. "County residents can rest assured there are a lot of eyes looking at bridges in the county and they are safe and sound."
In other business, the commissioners are expected to consider right-of-way agreements with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that will allow above- and below-ground utilities to be installed from state Route 14 to an emergency communication tower on Shriner Ridge.
Another agreement with the DCNR will allow the county to make minor adjustments to security fencing around the tower site, which is located on Bureau of Forestry land, according to John Yingling, director of the county Department of Public Safety.
Improved surveying technology revealed the need for the adjustments, Yingling said.
The commissioners will consider the purchase of two concrete equipment building shells, which will be installed on county tower sites.
The building shells will be purchased from Tower Service Unlimited for $126,700, Yingling said.
The commissioners also will consider a three-year agreement with Schuylkill Mobile Fone Inc. of Frackville, for pager service for county pagers.
The agreement calls for the firm to be paid up to $18,000 annually for the service, said Anthony Rampulla, county systems support manager.
According to Rampulla, the company has not raised its rates in more than 20 years. It provides pager service in areas of the county where cell phone services is not available, he said.
That is of particular importance to emergency responder and Department of Public Safety personnel who are in areas where there is no cell phone coverage, Rampulla said.
The commissioners will consider the deposit of about $8 million in bond revenue into an Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust, or PLGIT, account.
PLGIT was created in 1981 to provide local governments, authorities and school districts with short-term investment opportunities.