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New Rupert Road Bridge Seems Delayed To 2018

SANATOGA PA – School’s out. Summer has started. Without student-laden buses to cause problems on detours, Lower Pottsgrove officials had hoped June (2017) and the months to follow would be the time to quickly and efficiently replace the failing bridge on Rupert Road.

Lacking a miracle, township engineers now report, that probably won’t happen until next year.

Representatives of the township engineering firm, Bursich Associates of Sanatoga, told the Board of Commissioners during its June 8 meeting they’ve been diligent in keeping Montgomery County updated with the bridge project’s plans, specifications and cost estimates. Latest documents were submitted May 23. The county’s been responsive too, they said, offering replies and feedback when required or appropriate.

Until now the $600,000 bridge replacement, the cost of which is being covered by township and county funds, had been on what all parties involved described as “an accelerated schedule.” Through January (2017), project progress was moving quickly and smoothly, Bursich President Scott Exley told commissioners.

But there’s a hold-up in numbers; specifically, appraisal figures for easements and rights-of-way to be obtained on portions of adjacent properties needed to install the longer, wider, and far more sturdy new span.

The county is still working on its appraisals, which has delayed negotiations with affected property owners, according to Bursich. Engineer Chad Camburn last week told commissioners he doubted the calculations, subsequent discussions, and necessary paperwork changes would be finished until around February (2018), when bids for the job would be sought. That likely will allow the aging and crumbling Rupert Road bridge to be replaced next summer.

Related to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ June 8 meeting:

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