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What is the status of the replacement project of Wolf Bridge?
The project to replace Wolf Bridge, which carries Wolf Bridge Road over the Conodoguinet Creek in Middlesex Township, is moving forward, but will likely not go out for bid until 2018, according to Kirk Stoner, director of planning for Cumberland County.
Stoner said officials are working on threatened and endangered species studies that are required to move the bridge replacement forward.
“We really recognize it really is an inconvenience having the bridge closed,” Stoner said. “No one likes it. We don’t like it. ... It does us no good to delay projects. We don’t enjoy trying to move these things ahead and have the roadblocks come up.”
Stoner said Cumberland County is expected to pay only 5 percent of the projected $3 million bridge replacement. State and federal funds account for the other 95 percent.
While this reduces the cost for the county, Stoner said it can cause delays to comply with all the stipulations attached to the federal and state dollars.
“It’s a pretty good financial deal for us and for the greater Cumberland County community,” he said. “... We are getting a tangible benefit of a new bridge out of it. Unfortunately, there’s this whole litany of studies and analysis we have to do as part of the process.”
Other studies have focused on threatened and endangered species of mussels, but the current review is about a turtle.
“We’re looking for the Bog Turtle,” Stone said. “... From the standpoint of the project, we hope that he’s not there, because we have to do more studies. We clearly don’t want to hurt any of the turtle species with our project, but we’re hoping he’s not there and maybe he’s upstream or downstream.”
The bridge was closed in 2013 after significant deterioration was found in the bridge’s support system.
There is no set timetable for the completion of the bridge, Stoner said.
He said a more definitive timetable will be available after the county acquires the right of way, which cannot be done until the preliminary studies are finished.
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