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Church Lane Bridge Will Be Repaired, Township Says

Lower Macungie Township is making progress on plans to fix the Church Lane Bridge

Lower Macungie Commissioners revisited the ongoing saga of the Church Lane Bridge at the Feb. 21 meeting.

Commissioners approved plans to fix the wooden bridge that spans the Norfolk Southern tracks near the township's border with Upper Macungie.

But the fix has its "good news/bad news" aspects.

The good news is that the bridge will be fixed and will take only a few days of work. A beam that is currently damaged will be replaced, and beams that are expected to go bad in the next few years also will be replaced now. The hope is that the anticipation of problems will prevent a future closing for repairs.

All work will be done with cranes, according to Alan Fornwalt who was sitting in for Township Engineer William Erdman at the Feb. 21 meeting.

There will be no equipment on the tracks, Fornwalt said.

And the materials should arrive in the next two weeks, Commissioner Ryan Conrad said in a recent Facebook post.

The bad news is that though the plans have been approved by the BOC, they still have to be approved by Norfolk Southern.

The company has been known to take its time with this process, Fornwalt said, and nothing can be done until the company approves the plan.

Furthermore, there will eventually—and nobody has a timetable on this—be the need for much more extensive work on the wooden bridge which, according to the state data was built in 1930.

In previous discussions about the Church Lane Bridge, Erdman has said that it cannot be replaced—as was the Spring Creek Road Bridge—because the land next to it is a cemetery and cannot be purchased to accommodate current requirements for a new bridge.

Michael D Siegel February 28, 2013 at 07:18 PM
This is the first I have heard that the bridge could never be widen because of the existing cemetery. Why were the planning commission members not told this at the time of the Giant redevelopment? I would have recommended Giant pay for buying the land to do this widening and widen the bridge themselves. I would strongly request that NO truck traffic be allowed on this bridge forever. The township can place this restriction this and now is the time to do this. This was not fair to hold back this critical information to the public and another reason why we need a change in govt officials. There was no reason not to have this bridge inspected and fixed while Spring Creek Bridge was being repaired.
Willet Thomas March 01, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Just another case of someone shooting off their mouth before getting all the facts re the December inspection.
Rico March 01, 2013 at 01:33 PM
This is ridiculous, just another patch for an another already poor bridge in LMT.
Rico March 01, 2013 at 01:36 PM
I agree this should have been noted during the Giant project. The road more or less is a dead end rigtht now, not a good thing with all the added trafific. It is time for a change in LMT government, tired of these realtors running things.
Fred March 01, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Ditto! Agreed 100% with you, Michael.
Bill March 01, 2013 at 02:49 PM
How about we charge Norfolk Southern a township noise pollution tax every time they use the rails in our township, unless they GET ER DONE!
Sheriffchris March 21, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Having it inspected and fixed during the Spring creek Bridge project would have been much much much TOO LOGICAL for the Politicians running these things....

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