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Old Mill Bridge Restoration Project Moving Ahead

On June 20, Lower Saucon Township Council authorized township staff to advertise for bids to restore the historic bridge across the Saucon Creek at the end of Old Mill Road.

Lower Saucon Township's will soon be getting a makeover.

On June 20, township council voted 4-0 to approve a motion authorizing staff to advertise for bids for the project, once all permits for the renovations have been secured.

The landmark metal truss bridge is located at the end of Old Mill Road, where it spans in an area that has been designated by the National Park Service as the Ehrhart's Mill Historic District.

The bridge is no longer open to vehicular traffic, however it is a popular crossing point for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly due to its proximity to the nearby .

Township manager Jack Cahalan told council that the plans are to "repair and rehabilitate" the structure "so it should be fully restored."

Some of the bridge's piers and footings will be repaired; several beams will be replaced; deck posts, deck stringers and floor planks will be replaced; and the peeling surface of the bridge--which is a distinctive shade of green--will be repainted.

Cahalan said that although the township applied for a $25,000 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) grant to help fund the project, "we were advised that we did not qualify."

In response to a question about that denial from councilwoman Priscilla deLeon, Cahalan said the township was told by the PHMC that "money was limited, and there were a lot of other more worthy projects."

Council vice president Tom Maxfield asked if permission from creekside property owners who live alongside the bridge will be needed before the project can get underway.

"The work is going to be primarily on the bridge," Cahalan responded. "I think we can approach that from the road."

Cahalan said the bridge has been inspected several times by Hanover Engineering in preparation for the project, which is expected to be completed this year.

He explained that there is a somewhat narrow window of opportunity for completing the work this year, since the PA Fish and Game Commission will not allow work to be conducted on the waterway after October.

Stephanie Brown June 26, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Who is paying for all this repair work? The last time I knew, the township was turned down for funding for this project. How much money is going to be spent and what is the scope of the work?
Andrew Wilt June 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Stephanie Brown - You no longer live in Lower Saucon, correct?
Lower Saucon Guy June 26, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Is there something we're missing here. Andrew always swoops down on Stephanie as soon as she posts. Stephanie, the scope of the work is outlined in the article. It doesn't say who's going to pay for this renovation, only that it's out for bid.
Josh Popichak (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I don't have a specific figure for the repair costs but I will add that information to the story if I'm able to obtain it. Anyone can post a comment to a story -- regardless of where they live.
Jason N. Kipp June 27, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Lower Saucon Guy - Yep, there is something you are missing. Myopia...and Mr. Wilt is not the problem.
Lower Saucon Guy June 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM
OK, I just find it amusing that Mr. Wilt jumps on her right away.
Jason N. Kipp June 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Amusing that she never answers his question!

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