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Chester County Press

New Garden to replace decaying bridge

06/27/2023 01:29PM ● By Richard Gaw

Photo by Richard L.  Gaw                     

The Bancroft Road Bridge in New Garden Township will be closed beginning July 5 so that the aging structure can be replaced. It is expected to reopen on Aug. 18.


By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

New Garden Township will pay to have the Bancroft Road Bridge replaced over a seven-week period beginning on July 5, with a re-opening scheduled for Aug. 18.

During a presentation at the township’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting on June 26, township Director of Public Works Ken Reed spelled out the conditions of the township-owned bridge, as well as a day-by-day timeline of construction. He said the need to replace the existing bridge is due to severe cracking in the structure’s wing walls and rusting beams. The existing bridge will be entirely removed and replaced by a concrete precast structure that will provide two 9-foot-wide lanes with two feet of grass on either side, better sight lines, no exposed beams and have a “life” expectancy of 100 years.

Currently, while it is a two-lane bridge, its width often necessitates the need for drivers to relinquish the overpass to on-coming vehicles.

Reed said that the project will also include vegetation clearing; the installation of the structure and its wing walls, erosion and sediment controls, a stream by-pass pumping set up, a road base, guide rails and sanitary sewer line casing; as well as slope grading, paving and seeding the areas around the bridge.

During the construction, road traffic will be rerouted to Cedar Spring and Pemberton roads.

The estimated cost of the project will not exceed $366,000, and it is being paid for out of the township’s capital improvement fund.

Board approves planned upgrades to New Garden Flying Field

In other township business, the supervisors gave approval to bid contracts for the renovation of the north side of the Aviation Center at the New Garden Flying Field in the amount of $987,841. The area of renovation will be 20 feet wide by 80 feet in length, encompass the entire length of the terminal and include ADA-compliant restrooms for men and women, a new mechanical room, a new transient pilot lounge and an additional office space for the airport’s flight school and public airport operations.

The addition will also eliminate current tripping hazards due to uneven floor elevations, provide ADA access, and improve the Center’s lighting.

In his presentation to the board, Airport Director Jon Martin said these upgrades will serve as the second phase of the redesign of the Aviation Center, which already includes a reception area, classrooms and offices. General construction and plumbing for the project will be awarded to F.W. Houder, Inc. at a cost of $644,248 and $109,750, respectively; and the electrical contract will be awarded to Lenni Electric Corporation at a cost of $134,343. The airport will be receiving a minimum of three quotes from local HVAC contractors to install the new ductwork.

After sharing the bid results with the board – all of which were approved and will be forwarded to township Manager Christopher Himes to authorize  -- Martin said that a majority of the cost of construction will be paid for using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding from the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years, and supplemented by 2024 BIL funding. (The law includes reauthorization for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 of surface transportation programs and direct advanced appropriations that provides a five-year package of over $660 billion in funding, including $25 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration.)

Cumulatively, the BIL grants will provide $834,823 toward the project’s total cost, as well as an additional $46,379 in state funding, Martin said. The majority of these funds are due to be awarded to the airport in August.

In other business, the board reviewed the most recent draft of the township’s rental inspection ordinance and the International Fire Code, which if approved would allow the township to create and enforce a routine fire inspection program for all registered commercial businesses. Both are expected to be on the board’s August agenda for possible adoption.

In township appointments, Himes introduced Becky Juarez, who is now the township’s code enforcement officer, and Robert Weer, who is now the township’s director of community development and safety.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].