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April 10, 2014

Residents want repairs to bridge

NEW CASTLE — Guardrails are expected to be installed on a Pulaski Township culvert bridge by week’s end because of residents’ safety concerns.

The township-owned bridge is on Maple Lane, just west of Hilcorp Energy Co.’s Artman wellpad.

An additional concern, gaps between the wood on the temporary bridge deck, have been eliminated since Monday’s supervisors’ meeting, according to Sam Varano, Pulaski supervisor. He noted the gaps had been a safety issue for bicycles and motorcycles.

He said Wednesday that Hilcorp Energy Co. had responded to a letter from the supervisors and agreed to put up guardrails on the bridge, which lacks a headwall on the south side and has a headwall only about eight inches high on the north side. Varano said this is because the wood deck had raised the deck height, covering about half of the north side headwall. He said the south side headwall evidently had been knocked off during construction of the wooden deck.

Two residents had asked Monday that something be done. They explained the road is too narrow for two vehicles to pass and this results in cars having to back up when they meet trucks. They said when cars back up near the culvert bridge, they could go over the edge because of the lack of guardrails and missing headwall.

Varano said the wood deck of the bridge was installed by Hilcorp on top of the paved bridge for the truck traffic, which travels over the bridge to a second wellpad further west on Maple Lane.

Resident David Shober said he is concerned about safety and access on the road, which is only 16 feet wide with no shoulder. As a result, one vehicle has to move off the road to let another pass. He said that at night in the fog, a vehicle backing up to let a truck through could easily go off the side of the bridge.

Sam Vastano, another resident, said his wife recently had to stop and back up at the bridge to let a truck through. He said there was no flagger and the situation was hazardous because of the lack of guardrails. He said access is a problem and that someone could die if an ambulance could not get through.

School buses travel the bridge regularly, officials confirmed.

Varano said that Hilcorp has committed to completely replacing the box culvert once it completes its work in that area.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

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