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Sharpsburg wants to know who's responsible for Freeport Road bridge path

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

It appears that a sidewalk along the Freeport Road bridge — the span between Sharpsburg and Aspinwall — is within Sharpsburg's borders, but officials want more information before deciding whether the borough has to maintain the walkway.

Officials had a discussion on whether the borough should be maintaining the sidewalk late last month.

Councilman Lou DeLuca said officials first needed to determine in which community the walkway is located.

PennDOT plans to replace the bridge.

“The point that I'm trying to look at here is what township, borough municipality is the bridge in, even though it's owned by PennDOT,” DeLuca said.

Maps appear to show that the bridge is in O'Hara, while the sidewalk is in Sharpsburg.

No matter what community the sidewalk is in, it makes sense for Sharpsburg to maintain it, Councilwoman Karen Pastor said.

“Our people, Sharpsburg people, walk up and down that,” Pastor said.

Council President Renee Procopio said it could be beneficial for Sharpsburg to take over maintenance.

“If they're going to fix it, and all we have to do is upkeep it, why not? How much time is this little piece going to cost us?” Procopio asked.

DeLuca said PennDOT officials have indicated that because the sidewalk would be in place only for the benefit of the borough, Sharpsburg should be responsible for maintaining it.

In the past, the borough has not maintained the sidewalk because it was unclear whether it was in Sharpsburg.

Procopio said communication is needed with PennDOT on the sidewalk issue.

PennDOT officials have told local leaders a temporary walkway won't be in place during construction.

That would be an issue for the borough because residents regularly use the walkway, Procopio said.

The borough plans to contact state officials for their opinion about what should be done before taking action.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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