Since Tropical Storm Lee turned the area upside down in September 2011, there's been empty space in place of the Lycoming Valley Railroad Bridge in Montoursville. The bridge serves industry from Muncy and Montoursville and, importantly, is within a stone's throw of the Williamsport Regional Airport.
For the past year, rail traffic has been rerouted on neighboring Norfolk Southern lines to continue serving customers, but that has come at a cost of $30,000 a month to the Lycoming Valley Railroad.
The borough of Montoursville should receive notification early next year from the state Department of Environmental Protection that a levee system will be constructed in 2015 and 2016. That will pave the way for approval of the rail bridge replacement, which is geared in part at reducing flood hazards to the borough in lower lying areas near the bridge.
The new bridge will have just one pier in the water and will be anchored on pilings driven 50 feet below the creek into bedrock. The former bridge was anchored on foundations just eight feet below the creek, making it extremely vulnerable during major flood events.
So the area would get a double shot of development if the project comes to fruition. Flood protection in traditionally vulnerable areas of Montoursville would be bolstered significantly. And rail transport ability with valuable economic benefit for existing and possibly new business and industry in the Muncy-Montgomery corridor would be restored.
Add that to the planned direct access road to the airport and you have quite a package of improvement for local businesses and industries.