BRIDGE REMOVAL AND CLOSURE STUDY
In accordance with PennDOT's bridge asset management process, Mercer County evaluated locally owned bridges in the County for potential closure and removal.
Candidate bridges were evaluated for factors including traffic volume, condition, detour routes, replacement cost, and the number of homes and businesses affected to determine if they can be considered operationally redundant.
There were 266 bridges included in the study (255 County owned and 11 locally owned). The study included a 10 step process.
As part of the process, three public meetings by County region, to present this information were held in December, 2014 as follows:
Northwest Region - December 4, 2014 at the Reynolds VFW Post 7599, 115 Edgewood Drive, Greenville, PA 16125 ( This meeting covered bridges in Greene, Sugar Grove, Salem, Hempfield, Otter Creek, Perry and South Pymatuning Townships)
Northeast Region - December 9, 2014 at the Sandy Lake Borough Building, 3271 South Main Street, Sandy Lake, PA 16145 ( This meeting covered bridges in Fairview, Lake and Mill Creek Townships and Sandy Lake Borough)
South and Central Region - December 11, 2014 at the Assembly Room of the Mercer County Courthouse, Mercer, PA 16137 ( This meeting covered bridges in Coolspring, Delaware, Pine, Shenango, and Springfield Townships and the City of Sharon)
All meetings started at 6:30 p.m. for elected officials and 7:30 p.m. for the general public.
A total of 155 individuals signed attendance sheets at the three meetings. Fifty-three questionnaires were returned and several letters were submitted to provide input to the process. The "Final Report" has been completed and was submitted to Mercer County Commissioners the week of January 19, 2015. The report established three priority levels for potential closures and removals. The first priority level recommends plan preparation for removal of those structures begin within the next year. Bridges assigned a priority level of 2 were recommended to remain in service until their estimated remaining life is five years or less, then begin the plan preparation for their removal. Bridges assigned a priority level of 3 recommended further discussion with the townships since those structures may need to remain in service for reasons listed in the report.
A link to the final report is given below, as is a link to a map detailing the bridge locations and their priority levels.