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Bridge replacement woes continue for Anthony Township residents

By Staff | Feb 27, 2019

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary Montour County Commissioner Dan Hartman holds papers listing more than 240 petitioners who hope to speed along the process of replacing a small bridge on Foggy Mountain Road in Anthony Township. Township resident and presenter Kelly Newman (left) is one of several who circulated the petition.

EXCHANGE – Residents of Anthony Township met at the township building at Exchange on Tuesday, Feb. 19 where Montour County Commissioners made their annual visit to inform the public of county business and to receive questions and comments.

With 27 in attendance, the greater portion of time dealt with the washing away in late August 2018 of a bridge off Foggy Mountain Road. The roadway is a shortcut from Muncy to White Hall bypassing Turbotville and Exchange and cutting travel time and mileage by half.

Commissions reported that roadways and bridges in Anthony and Derry Townships, plus Washingtonville were eligible of disaster relief through FEMA and PMEA.

The three year wait is due to permit processes up to and including the federal level which will cover 75 percent of the cost with the state paying 25 percent.

“We are in a holding pattern selecting engineers, then awaiting studies on such things as environmental impact and traffic count. We have to jump through all the hoops in order to have the costs covered. Federal funds will amount to 75 percent of the costs and the state will pay 25 percent. Going ahead on our own would mean the township would not be reimbursed,” said Commissioner Trevor Finn.

Over the past month, a committee consisting of Tammy Rice, Kelly Newman and Krys Yarish, gathered signatures for a petition hoping to speed up the estimated three year wait for completion of the small span. Kelly Newman presented the more than 240 signatures to Commissioner Dan Hartman.

Resident Richard Hess facilitated the conversation on behalf of fellow residents who had previously shared concerns with him.

Newman reported that in the meantime, “A fire occurred on the road at Jean Brehm’s home. The Millville Fire Company, who’d been called to assist, was stopped by the bridge outing. They backtracked and went around causing a loss of time.”

Newman also said, “The road is well traveled. When I went to work at 5 a.m., I met four or five cars just on the portion I traveled.”

A concern for Rice who said, “I have a senior parent with health challenges. Her hospital and doctor is in Williamsport and the bridge outing would add to travel time should there be an emergency.”

Yarish specified that the address on the petition form from out of the area noted that they too use the short cut route.

Another resident shared that the detour caused some parents to drive students to another site as there is no area large enough for a bus turnaround.

After taking questions and comments, Commissioner Ken Holdren said, “We’ve pushed everybody at every level, but it will still take about three years.”

Contact information was given by all commissioners advising residents not to hold issues until a monthly meeting, but call them right away.