New Castle News

Local News

June 15, 2012

Grove Street bridge made safer

NEW CASTLE — A downtown bridge has received some finishing touches to make it safer for disabled residents to navigate.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation completed construction of the Grove Street Bridge in July 2010.

However, Disability Options Network noted that the sidewalk on the south side of the bridge failed to meet the standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bob Stoner, assistant executive director of the agency, said the approach on the eastern edge was too steep.

“It was pretty much a safety hazard,” Stoner said.

A person using a manually operated wheelchair “couldn’t make it up the grade because it was too steep.”

Plus, a person going down the slope could have fallen out of a chair if he or she didn’t have a seatbelt, he said.

“We got in touch with PennDOT,” Stoner said, adding that they sent engineers.

PennDOT provided four designs and Disability Options Network selected one of them.

Richard Yakupkovic, PennDOT civil engineer, said, “We lengthened the amount of ramp to reduce the grade.”

In addition to reducing the grade, PennDOT had handrails installed.

Yakupkovic said it took two weeks to make the sidewalk improvement. The handrails had to be ordered and the entire project was completed about two weeks ago.

“It was nothing but a pleasure working with them,” Stoner said of PennDOT.

“We’re happy with it.”



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