HOLLIDAYSBURG - Plans are being made to address conditions of 14 Blair County bridges in 2013, using federal money made available in a transportation law signed earlier this year.
The Blair County Metropolitan Planning Organization has agreed to put the bridges in its Transportation Improvement Plan, based on specifications outlined in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, also known as MAP-21.
In that legislation, which President Barack Obama signed in July, $10.6 billion was made available for projects designed to address the nation's aging public transportation infrastructure. Blair County will get $2.94 million, which is being designated to repair 13 bridges, ranging from 27 feet to 133 feet in length, and to remove an abandoned bridge on Route 590 in Allegheny Township.
Transportation Planner Wesley Burket of the Blair County Planning Commission said it's unusual for Blair County to get that much money for bridge repairs. While federal and state transportation dollars are allocated annually to Blair County for bridge maintenance, the amount is usually limited to only one or two bridge projects.
PennDOT, which is coordinating the project, plans to advertise for bids in May, Project Manager Melissa Irwin said.
"We haven't identified which bridges will get done first, but some of the work will be done in 2013 and some in 2014," Irwin said.
The basic work for each bridge, she said, calls for removal of the bituminous deck surface and replacement with a concrete surface. It's the same type of repair PennDOT made to the Juniata Eighth Street this summer.
Because the bridges are narrow, detours will be needed during construction. Irwin said the detours would be for short time periods, because the work is expected to move along quickly.
Bridges slated for repairs are:
- Blair Gap Run Bridge on Route 406, Allegheny Township.
- Hunter Road Bridge on Route 500, Antis Township.
- Bradley Mill Bridge on Route 588, Blair Township.
- Old Town Run Bridge on Route 378, the Berwind White Bridge on Scotch Valley Road and the Brua Bridge on River Road, all in Frankstown Township.
- Blacks Bridge on Tippy Hill Road, Greenfield Township.
- Rebecca Bridge over Clover Creek on Route 342, Huston Township.
- Brumbaugh Bridge over Clover Creek on Route 342, North Woodbury Township.
- Weitzer Road Bridge on Route 365 and Taylor Bridge over Plum Creek on Route 343, both in Taylor Township.
- Wertz Bridge on Route 431 and the Lower Clover Creek Road Bridge on Route 454, both in Woodbury Township.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.