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Chester County Press

Will Kennett Twp. supervisors do what's right with Chandler Mill Bridge?

06/04/2014 09:35AM ● By Acl

Letter to the Editor:

It has been a month since the rainy night on April 30 when the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors held a special public meeting in connection with the disposition of the county-owned Chandler Mill Bridge. Since the bridge closure in 2011, there has been much debate about whether the bridge should ever reopen. If it should reopen, should it be one-way or two-way traffic, and who should own the bridge.

Since the public meeting, the supervisors have held two executive sessions (no public participation) to discuss “real estate.”  At the last regular Board of Supervisors meeting on May 21, Chairman Scudder Stevens stated that the board was still in deliberations about the fate of the bridge. When the board of supervisors emerges from the cone of silence, we will no doubt hear that they have relieved the county of their mantle of responsibility and struck a deal with wealthy landowners around the bridge to restrict traffic to pedestrian and biking only, and incorporate some type of nature preserve in the area in an attempt to validate their decision. They will not be talking about the fact that wealthy area landowners do not want mushroom industry workers driving across the bridge to get to and from work.  They won’t be talking about the additional response time area emergency service providers continue to require to access residents living in the areas around the bridge which is a real impact on the public health safety and welfare. They won’t be talking about the additional fuel costs the school district will continue to spend every year navigating around the closed bridge.

The interests of those who want to foster trails and conserve land can be served without closing the bridge to vehicular traffic and impacting public safety.  The question is, do supervisors Stevens and Leff have the sagacity and gumption to find the sweet spot that serves all of the township residents, not just the special interest groups that helped to fund and support their campaigns?

Chris Burkett

Kennett Township