Forward supervisors, residents discuss bridge

 By MICHAEL DIVITTORIO Daily News Staff Writer

  Forward Township supervisors continue to mull over what do to about a dilapidated bridge.
  Many residents in attendance at Thursday night’s meeting wanted to know what is going to be done about Ripple Road Bridge near the intersection of Ripple and Pangburn Hollow roads. Pangburn Hollow is owned by Allegheny County, and Ripple is a township road.
  “We just told you we don’t know what we’re going to do yet,” Supervisor Tom Headley told residents who continued to question whether there would be repairs, replacement or just a closing of the bridge.
  The bridge has been a concern of resident Howard Fleming, who lives along Pangburn Hollow Road, a few houses away from the bridge.
  Fleming said he contacted the offices of state Rep. David Levdansky, D-Forward Township , state Sen. J. Barry Stout, D-Somerset Township , as well as the state Department of Environmental Protection to find out whether the township has proper permits for work,

 and what is being done with the bridge.
  “I’m calling anybody I can get an answer from,” he said.
  The bridge is falling apart and has stones that are wearing away, according to Fleming, who had photos to prove his point to supervisors Thursday.
  In 2003, a study was conducted to determine the weight the bridge could withstand, and a 3-ton limit was established.
  Supervisors adopted a resolution Thursday establishing a 10-ton weight limit for Ripple Road itself.
  Supervisor Dave Magiske said progress in determining what can be done with the bridge is being delayed because others are seeking help from outside sources and not bringing concerns to township officials.
  “The problem we’re having is every time the township does something,” Magiske said, “we’re answering from this representative, that senator and so forth, and I know we have said no decision has been made at this point. We’ll have postponed doing anything



because we’ll have the attorney looking at it and that takes time ... we intend to remedy the problem. We intend to remedy it in a safe fashion. It just slows things down when people are suggesting that we don’t have certain permits or accusing us of not having certain permits, and we have to go answer those accusations.” Other residents said the issue about the bridge and with supervisors is not about permits, but about inaction.
  One woman said she has lived in the township for the past 53 years, and supervisors have “not lifted a finger” to fix the bridge.
  The township did fix a bridge at the other side of Ripple Road near the intersection of the road and Raccoon Run.
  Magiske and Headley said it would be very costly to buy a new bridge, and they are looking at cost effective alternatives to make sure the bridge is safe and the township does not have to double taxes in order to pay for it.
  Magiske said the township did acquire a $10,000 grant for work on the bridge.
  Neither supervisor said when a decision would be made on what township action will be taken.
  All motions made Thursday evening passed unanimously by a 2-0 vote. Supervisor Tom DeRosa was absent.
  Magiske was named the township delegate and Headley as alternate to the area committee to oversee earned income tax collection as required under state Act 32.
  Supervisors authorized Twin Rivers Council of Governments to apply for a Community Development Economic Block Grant through Allegheny County’s Community Infrastructure and Tourism Board for the demolition of the old municipal building at 500 Liggett Ave.
  Township Secretary Pam Balogh said that building has not been used in an official capacity since 2006, and supervisors moved meetings and other business to the current municipal building at 100 Golden Circle in 2005.
  Supervisors are seeking more than $137,000 in grants for the demolition.
  Supervisors reminded residents that the Allegheny County Health Department is offering free smoke alarms. The smoke alarms come with free installation and a fire safety presentation. To schedule an installation, call 412-2477800.
  Magiske reminded residents they can keep track of events and activities in the township by visiting the township Web site online at www.forwardtownship .com .