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Rupert Bridge Tentative Construction Date Set

SANATOGA PA – A tentative date – the week of June 8 (2018) – has been set by Montgomery County for the start of work to replace the failing Rupert Road bridge in Lower Pottsgrove, its township engineer reports.

Sanatoga-based engineering firm Bursich Associates recently told the Board of Commissioners that the county has authorized construction to begin after the Valley Forge Invitational LPGA event concludes at nearby Raven’s Claw Golf Club, as well as after the academic years end in the Pottsgrove and Spring-Ford Area school districts.

The Raven’s Claw national women’s golf tournament begins with practice on May 21, and finishes May 26 with the third of three invitational rounds. Spring-Ford’s last student day, according to its calendar, is June 13; Pottsgrove’s is June 7, although snow storms or other bad weather may create school closing days that affect those dates.

The best news, Bursich stated in its monthly report to board members, is that the bridge “project design and specifications are complete.”

Commissioners last September (2017) authorized President Bruce Foltz to sign documents that would allow for the long-anticipated bridge replacement. The paperwork included an agreement of sale, temporary construction easement, and deed, because in exchange for helping to fund the $600,000 project the county – which formerly owned the bridge – transferred it to the township.

The concrete bridge is more than 90 years old, and has been placed on state and national transportation lists as “structurally deficient.” It receives consistent use, particularly by drivers who prefer Pruss Hill and Rupert roads to quickly reach the Sanatoga interchange of U.S. Route 422 while by-passing early morning and early evening congestion on East High Street.

Township officials last year proclaimed hope that the bridge work could begin in June 2017. It was dashed when the county said it needed more time to finish appraisal figures for easements and rights-of-way relayed to the bridge. To ensure adequate space to install the longer, wider, and far sturdier new span. the county first had to get valuations for, and then buy, portions of adjacent properties.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Dec. 21 meeting):

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