It appears even more bridge work is coming down the road

PUNXSUTAWNEY — As Punxsy Phil has given us a forecast of a shorter winter, it's already time to start thinking about road construction season in Punxsutawney, and this is the summer when both the Route 119 Bridge on Ridge Avenue in Elk Run and the Saw Mill Run Bridge on West Mahoning Street are set to be replaced.

Now, there's news that the Margiotti Bridge will need to be replaced.

Ben White, Punxsutawney Borough manager, said at Monday's Public Works Committee meeting, that PennDOT has done all possible patch work on the Margiotti Bridge and has decided the bridge is in need of complete replacement.

"In the next few months, PennDOT will be working on a preliminary design with several options, which include keeping the same alignment or choosing between a couple of alternatives and realigning the five points intersection at the same time," White said.

White said that PennDOT will hold a public meeting and a public officials’ meeting, depending on the funding, which is for design discussion only.

The date of that meeting has yet to be determined.

"Currently, there are no funds in place for construction as of yet, which probably won't occur until 2014 since we're already scheduled for two major bridge projects for this summer at Saw Mill Run and Route 119 in Elk Run,” White said.

In other business:
• White said the CDBG Cherry Street improvement project application has received approval from DCED, and it will be on the agenda for council's approval to begin the engineering process at next Monday's voting meeting.

He said the project is going to be put out to bid for construction this year.

"Cherry Street will be paved from North Findley Street up to Carlton Avenue," White said, adding that there will be new guide rail installed to replace the old railing, which has deteriorated badly.

• The first public hearing for the 2013 CDBG project will be held prior to the March 4 Committee meetings, White said.

"We don't have the official numbers as of yet as to how much funding the borough will receive from the program," he said.

White said he doesn't expect to hear anything regarding funding until summer.

"We need to begin thinking about possible projects, for which the income guidelines we have not received. They could possibly continue to use the census numbers from 2010 to determine what areas of town qualify and which ones don't," he said.

• "It's that time of year to start thinking about paving projects in the borough," White said, adding that the plan is to create a list of possible streets that are in need of paving.

He said that next month, members of the committee will travel the streets throughout the borough to see which ones are in need of paving.

"Any members of council who have streets they feel are a priority, we'll devise a draft list of streets that are in need of being paved," he said.

“Last year, we budgeted $90,000 for paving, which should be the same for this year. That will permit us to pave approximately four streets."

Chenoga said the committee should possibly explore more oil and chipping, as it did on Clark Street last summer.

"Councilman Bill Spencer suggested for us to oil and chip Clark Street. I suggest the other committee members look at that street, which has really held up well. Ben and Joe Defelice can discuss the possibility of oil and chipping more streets that don't require paving just yet but are beginning to show some wear and tear," Chenoga said, adding that any high traffic areas that are oiled and chipped need to be rolled so the materials will stick longer.

• White said the borough will be bidding on the salt contract for next year as part of the Costars state contract.

He said the borough has been purchasing 475 tons for the last several years. It will be on the agenda for Monday's meeting.

• The sewage treatment plant permit will be put on display for public review.

Meanwhile, at the Legal and Finance Committee meeting, Chenoga announced that council will vote on permanently moving the committee meetings to the first Monday of the month.