Centre looks toward $1.7 million bridge projects

BELLEFONTE — Centre County is hoping to receive funding to repair three large-scale structurally-deficient bridges, projects that will accumulatively cost $1.7 million.

On Tuesday, county transportation planner Mike Bloom came before the Board of commissioners to receive approval of a resolution that would signal the county’s intent to seek a multimodal transportation fund grant for the projects. The board unanimously approved the resolution.

The approximately $1.2 million grant would be matched by roughly $500,000 from the county’s local Act 13 bridge funds and be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Commonwealth Financing Authority, Bloom said. Bloom the grant application will be submitted before the end of July, when it is due.

“It would be a pretty heavy lift for each municipality to take on if we asked them to do that independent of this assistance,” Bloom said.

These bridges, three of 13 structurally-deficient bridges in the county, will undergo major rehabilitation. Bloom said the project will involve, in order of priority in regard to deterioration, the Lower Coleville Road bridge in Spring Township, the Front Street bridge in Curtin Township and the Fox Gap Road bridge in Miles Township.

The cost breakdown for the bridges is: approximately $700,000 each for the Lower Coleville Road and Front Street bridges and approximately $300,000 for the Fox Gap Road bridge.

Each bridge spans more than 50 feet, Bloom said. All of the bridges are very similar in structure.

“Hopefully in the fall, we get good news and can go ahead and start into next year looking to advance these projects,” Bloom stated.

If the projects are successful, the Act 13 fund is in pretty good shape to pursue further large-scale rehabilitation of structurally-deficient bridges, he said. Before the most recent payment, the fund had roughly another $490,000, and Bloom said he believes the county is expecting another $200,000 this year to go into the fund through the Act 13 payment.