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Greensburg bridge project moves forward

| Saturday, May 12, 2012, 11:50 a.m.

After years of delay, the construction of a new Maple Avenue Bridge in Greensburg will move a step closer to reality next week when the state advertises for bids for the project.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to open the bids in Harrisburg in about a month, said Thomas Allwein, assistant executive director for governmental and member relations for PennDOT's District 12-0 in Uniontown.

The contractor is likely to begin the project in September, Allwein said. The bridge project is not expected to be complete until next year.

In a matter related to the project, Greensburg City Council Friday authorized the city to enter into two agreements with PennDOT that set the parameters for funding for the project and the electronic exchange of data.

The state has estimated the project will cost $2 million. The cost is to be shared between the federal, state and city governments. The city is responsible for 5 percent of the cost, or an estimated $125,000.

The state is responsible for 15 percent of the project. The maximum reimbursement for the state's cost is $370,000, while the maximum federal reimbursement is $1.198 million.

The city has approved an agreement to join with PennDOT's design bureau as a business partner so that the city can have electronic access to enter and exchange data in regard to the bridge project.

City Solicitor Timothy McCormick said the city has not completed an agreement with Norfolk Southern Corp. for the acquisition of the right of way for the new bridge.

The city has offered about $39,000 for the right of way over the railroad. McCormick said the railroad wants the right-of-way acquisition to be part of the discussions on Norfolk Southern's share of the project costs. Conrail, the predecessor to Norfolk Southern, had agreed to pay a portion of the bridge project costs.

State and city officials have discussed replacing the bridge for 20 years because of structural deficiencies, but the project was not approved for funding.

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