2013-08-10 / News

Howard Siding bridge project stalled

Weight limits remain in place for the Howard Siding Bridge in Shippen Township and there is little reason to believe the structure will be repaired any tome soon.

“PennDOT has no immediate plans to fix the bridge beyond the repairs that were performed last winter,” Commissioner Phil Jones reported at this week’s meeting of the Cameron County Commissioners. “It doesn’t look like the drilling outfits are in any hurry to make the permanent repairs either.”

PennDOT made interim repairs earlier this year to allow the bridge to remain open. Emergency vehicles, snow plows, buses and other vehicles can still use the span, although an 11-ton weight limit remains in effect.

At one time, PennDOT had been discussing a partnership with J-W Operating Company, an energy company drilling shale gas wells in the county, to repair the bridge. J-W needed to use the bridge to access drill sites.

Those talks ended abruptly when J-W was sold to a larger energy company.

On a related note, EQT Corporation representative Josie Schultz informed the commissioners that the company will be drilling a shale gas well above Sterling Run Road in Shippen Township.

Schultz said the company is working on site preparation and stabilizing an access road so it can accommodate a drilling rig and other heavy equipment.

In other business, the commissioners:

• tabled a request from Fred Burkhouse, representing the Prospect Park Area Association, for county funds to help pay for regular operating costs at the neighborhood playground. He suggested that the commissioners use a portion of the Pa. Act 13 “impact fee” revenue derived from a levy on shale gas production.

• reported that discussions continue over relocation of Pennsylvania CareerLink services from the library in Emporium to the Pro-America Inc. building.

• agreed to designate $20,000 from Act 13 impact fee revenue for the purchase of a brush truck by the Emporium Volunteer Fire Department. The board also designated $18,000 in Act 13 funding for purchase and installation of a new generator for Whittimore Public Safety Radio Tower site.

• were notified that Scott Finch is seeking renewal of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination permit at Crooked Run Road, and EQT Gathering has applied for a revised permit for a pipeline project.

• appointed Mara Bailey to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Inc. Board of Directors, succeeding Shawn McAulay, who resigned.

• were informed that GKN Sinter Metals is seeking Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection approval for construction of two dust collectors to replace equipment at its plants in Emporium.

Return to top