New Bridge Being Eyed At Bort Road

The old one-lane Bort Road bridge over the CSX tracks near North East, Pennsylvania, may be replaced with a more modern span.

Officials in North East Township are pushing state officials to approve funding for a longer bridge that would also cross over the Norfolk Southern tracks.

They have asked the state to add a new Bort Road bridge to the region’s Transportation Improvement Program, which would make it a priority for state transportation funding.

The proposed Bort Road bridge would be east of the existing structure on land now owned by grape farmer Nick Mobilia.

He has agreed to trade two acres of his Concord vineyard to the township for the land on which the bridge now sits.

Planners say the low elevation of the NS tracks, which cross Bort Road at grade, make it impractical to locate the new bridge on the footprint of the current bridge.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has completed a study of a new bridge that estimated a replacement would cost $7 million.

Gus Neff, chairman of the North East Township Board of Supervisors, said all that needed now is funding.

The PennDOT study found that about 400 vehicles a day cross the Bort Road bridge. The wood deck is deteriorating and is limited to vehicles weighing 8 tons or less.

Township officials say the bridge is important for farmers and that a new bridge could be a second route over the railroad tracks for emergency vehicles.

Building a new bridge is not the only option, the PennDOT study found.

Two other options involve razing the bridge and either routing traffic routed to an enhanced grade crossing of both railroads at Remington Road or a building a bridge carrying Remington Road the tracks.

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