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New bridge ordered for Saunders Station Road in Penn Township

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A new, temporary bridge is coming later this spring to Saunders Station Road — and installation will take only about an hour.

Penn Township will pay nearly $40,000 for the construction and delivery of a 27,000-pound prefabricated bridge from Warren County-based ADM Welding & Fabrication. Officials said they expect the bridge to be installed by June 1.

Traffic on the existing bridge — which is between Home Drive and Route 130 in Level Green — was reduced to one lane before officials closed the bridge in early December. Officials said the new 13-foot-by-50-foot bridge will accommodate one lane of traffic.

ADM offers an eight-year warranty, which buys township officials some time if they want to install a permanent bridge there later. Officials have estimated the cost of a permanent bridge to be at least $250,000.

A temporary bridge wasn't in the 2013 budget, but commissioners are tapping the $51,500 Penn Township received from state impact fees associated with drilling.

“It's still about the cheapest way to go for a bridge,” Commissioner Paul Wersing said.

Township engineer Don Black said last week that ADM officials told him the bridge could be available in four to six weeks.

Installation is completed within an hour, but township road workers will have to do some paving once it is in place, he said.

Some Saunders Station residents had a mixed reaction to news of the temporary bridge.

William O'Malley, who has lived on the road since 2006, said the bridge closure added about three-fourths of a mile to his trip if he wanted to drive to Harrison City, Trafford or the Haymaker Village shopping center in Monroeville.

“It'll be nice,” O'Malley said. “I'm curious to see how they do it.”

But Linda McGuire, who lives closer to the bridge, said she prefers having the bridge closed.

Fewer vehicles now can take Saunders Station from Route 130 to Murrysville.

“We just sit on our front porch and don't have to watch the steady stream of cars go by,” she said. “It's turned a high-traffic area into a nice, quiet neighborhood.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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