New handbook to help local governments fund bridges

LEWISBURG — A handbook tailored to helping local governments explore funding options for improving their local bridges is now available through SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG).

There are many government funding programs and each have different requirements and timelines, making it difficult for local governments to navigate the funding maze in order to maintain or replace the crucial bridges they own.

The Bridge Funding Handbook for Local Governments was designed by the SEDA-COG Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff to fit the needs of the MPO’s stakeholders as a local bridge funding resource.

The SEDA-COG MPO is the official transportation planning organization for eight central Pennsylvania counties: Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union.

Steve Herman, SEDA-COG transportation planner, presented the handbook at the annual fall PennDOT Planning Partners meeting held in October 2016. Local government officials have found it to be a helpful tool, and some similar planning agencies noted they may use it as a model to adapt it to their regions.

The handbook was created because “a gap existed and we sought to fill it,” Herman said.

“We heard from municipalities, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, our committees, and others about the need for this handbook,” Herman said. “This handbook informs local bridge owners, reflects their input, and helps foster progress on local bridge performance.”

SEDA-COG also coordinated with PennDOT to include information from their Community and Local Government Assistance brochure.

The handbook can be found online at http://ow.ly/qNQw305WAoQ or at SEDA-COG’s office, 201 Furnace Road, Lewisburg. The funding program and contact information listed in the handbook will be updated on an annual basis.

SEDA-COG is a regional multi-county development agency, which, under the guidance of a public policy board, provides leadership, expertise and services to communities, businesses, institutions and residents. SEDA-COG seeks to enhance growth opportunities in an environmentally sensitive manner while retaining the region’s predominantly rural character. The organization is both a direct service provider and a link to other resources that can be applied to a wide range of community and economic needs. SEDA-COG also is an advocate for the interests of its communities at the state and federal levels. www.seda-cog.org

For more information, please contact Liz Regan, public relations manager, SEDA-Council of Governments, at 570-522-7217 or eregan@seda-cog.org.

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