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Irwin bridges to be examined for repairs

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Irwin council hopes to find the costs associated with fixing two of the borough's bridges.

Engineer Lucien Bove plans to examine the Fairwood Drive Bridge and the closed First Street Bridge to determine what work needs to be done, and the cost of repairing and performing preventive maintenance work on each of them.

The First Street Bridge, located on the border of Irwin and North Huntingdon, near the borough's public works facility, closed in 1998, Bove said. The bridge needs to be repaired, replaced or removed, he said.

“The boundary line for the two municipalities runs right through the bridge, so we need North Huntingdon's cooperation with whatever is done,” Bove said. “That may end up affecting what happens.”

Bove said there might be federal and state funding available to repair or replace the bridge, but officials must prepare a cost estimate before applying.

North Huntingdon manager John Shepherd said township officials were unaware of Irwin's plans to examine the bridge, but would be willing to discuss the project with Irwin officials.

“The commissioners are always open to consider anything,” Shepherd said.

The Fairwood Drive Bridge, which sits along Route 30 and leads into the Villages of Easton, is not in danger of being closed, but needs some repairs and maintenance, Bove said.

The bridge was repaired in 2004, when officials replaced the guiderails, curbs, supporting beams and portions of the decking, Bove said. The repairs cost approximately $60,000, he said.

Now several of the beams and railings on the bridge need to be replaced, and a new rock embankment installed, Bove said.

“We know what the deficiencies are, and I don't think we're going to be at that cost level,” Bove said. “But it could be significant, with a cost of about $20,000.

“We just need to see what can be done by the borough's public works crew, and what needs done by a contractor.”

Council president John Cassandro said it's the borough's duty to make sure all of the bridges in Irwin are up to par. Bove inspects bridges throughout the borough every two years, he said.

“We have to look into fixing these bridges,” Cassandro said.

Council expects to discuss the cost of repairing the two bridges during its March 11 meeting.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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