PennDOT Puts Brakes on Centre Ave Bridge Project
The rehabilitation project for the 200-year-old bridge will not go out to bid as planned next month.
PennDOT is removing the Centre Avenue Bridge from a list of projects that are going out to bid next month, officials confirmed Thursday.
Eugene Blaum, PennDOT assistant press secretary, said the project was removed from the list so the agency can look further into community concerns with the proposal.
“We don’t want to hold up the other projects,” Blaum said. He noted the Centre Avenue Bridge is still slated to be rehabilitated, however, there is currently no timeline.
In February, PennDOT presented its proposal to rehabilitate the historic bridge, which carries more than 7,800 cars a day on average. The bridge, which crosses the Newtown Creek, is more than 200 years old and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
PennDOT’s plan proposed to dismantle the bridge down to the arches and fill the interior with concrete. The new concrete walls were to be veneered with sliced pieces of the existing stone.
That plan concerned some members of the community, including representatives from The Newtown Historic Association, The First National Bank and Trust Company of Newtown and the Newtown Creek Coalition.
The groups united and hired an independent preservation specialist to assist in encouraging PennDOT to ensure the repairs are done in a way that’s sensitive to the bridge’s historical significance.
Representatives from the coalition approached both the Newtown Borough Council and the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors at separate meetings last week seeking support for their cause.
Both Council and the Supervisors voted to send a letter to PennDOT requesting another meeting regarding the proposed rehabilitation of the historic bridge.