The Narberth Avenue Bridge is a piece of regional infrastructure that has been in need of replacement (not repair) for years. This is a complex, $7.5 million dollar project. This document might give you a flavor for just some of what the project entails. If someone glibly claims they will “fix the bridge,” they have not bothered to inform themselves about the project and they are making you an empty promise.
The scope includes multiple engineering plans and the relocation of utilities, each of which the Borough must shepherd through initial and final approvals from a range of state bureaucracies as well as a federal corporation. It includes negotiating and recording rights of way from neighboring property owners. Most significantly, the cost is 95% funded by state and federal entities; the Borough’s 5% has long been budgeted. Who controls the funding, controls the timing. It certainly did not help that state offices and commissions shut down and reconfigured virtually during the pandemic, slowing the process over the past year.
The Borough has been on top of its responsibilities – including the difficult but important decision to stop pouring taxpayer money into stopgap repairs of a structurally unsound bridge, to close the bridge to traffic, and instead lobby state decision-makers to prioritize the project. To that end, in July 2019, Council asked Borough Manager Sean Metrick to draft a template to be used to lobby ten key state decision-makers. Council members used that template to write letters and asked community members to join the effort. Our slate will be happy to provide that template and a list of recipients to any community member who missed their opportunity to write earlier. You can use our contact form to send us a request for the information.Click here to read more about Narberth issues.