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Grant to fund Tyrone bridge

Mayor: Repairs ‘a worthwhile investment’

TYRONE — Borough Council on Tuesday accepted a $200,000 grant from the state to renovate the Ninth Street pedestrian bridge, closed since 2016 because of hazardous conditions, although it will mean a higher-than-expected local match.

The borough applied in the spring for $250,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Intermodal Transportation Fund, a program that requires a 30 percent local share of the total project, or $106,000.

Because the grant is $50,000 less than requested, the borough will need to pay $156,000 to bridge the gap between the allocation and the total project cost of $356,000.

Still, “I think it’s a worthwhile investment,” Mayor Bill Latchford said.

“The public by-and-large is supportive,” Councilman Dave Snyder said.

Because the borough had already narrowed the project from an earlier proposal that would have cost $535,000 to the minimum needed to reopen the bridge to the public, there was no possibility of further shrinkage to avoid spending the additional match money, said consulting engineer Kevin Nester of GHD in Huntingdon.

The current project will bring the bridge “up to par, without the bells and whistles,” Snyder said.

The borough’s contribution will come from the Community Enrichment Fund, which is comprised of $120,000 a year in rental payments from the company that operates wind turbines on the mountain above town.

The renovation calls for a new timber deck, new supports, repairs of a concrete stairway and construction of a ramp, according to a news release from state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Hollidaysburg, and borough officials.

The less critical components eliminated from the original proposal include cleaning and painting and removal of a gravel bar in the Little Juniata River below the bridge, Nester said.

Some of that eliminated work might be done after all with help from the Tyrone Area Historical Society, which has raised $12,000 so far for bridge improvements, toward a goal of $20,000, said Councilman Bob Dollar, a society member.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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