As you know, the Narberth Ave bridge is closed to vehicles. (See the Borough’s notice on that here: https://mailchi.mp/4b1fbd2b1fae/narberth-avenue-bridge-closed-to-vehicles-effective-friday-march-8-2019?e=157a80867a) It's important to note that Council is taking a "better safe than sorry" approach to some recent bridge reports and concerns, and that the bridge has not been given an "unsafe" safety score.
So what comes next? The inspection team will give us a report to update us on the bridge's condition and safety. If all the reports are finished by then, the Council expects to revisit the issue at their March 20 meeting. It's definitely going to cost us some money that will not be reimbursed. While the Borough's share of the bridge replacement costs is only 5%, we are 100% responsible for the cost of repairs. The Borough will certainly have to invest in some netting to catch potential debris. Depending on the reports and what is possible, Council will have to decide whether it makes sense to rebuild one or both of the "boardwalk" pedestrian walkways on the side, which have a different support structure that is attached to the rest of the bridge. Council may need to decide on whether to make other bridge repairs, for the road portion of the bridge. Also depending on the reports, Council may reopen the bridge to vehicles.
Much of the Borough’s focus at this time is on the long-term plan, which is replacement of this 114 year-old bridge. This replacement has been anticipated for the last twenty years, at least, but the Borough can’t dictate the schedule for a project that involves PECO, PennDot, Septa, Amtrak, etc. Plus there are tons of other bridges slated for replacement that are on the same waiting list as ours. Our start date has been moved back many times. PennDot has currently budgeted this project to start this Fall (2019), before the construction phase, with some land acquisitions at the ends of the bridge. After the project goes to bid this winter, if the schedule doesn’t change, construction could start in Spring of 2020 and take 12-14 months.
Narberth News and Notes
Saturday, March 16 - Great Narberth Leprechaun Hunt
Get St. Patrick's Day started early with this free family event. Kids hunt for leprechauns throughout downtown Narberth, collecting treats along the way. When they find them all, they earn a St. Paddy’s Day prize. The hunt goes until 4 pm or while prizes last. More information here.
Thursday March 21 - Celebrating Victoria Donohoe
Join Narberth Civic Association in a celebration of the life and career of Victoria Donohoe on March 21st, from 7-9 pm, in the West Wing of the Narberth Community Building (80 Windsor Avenue, Narberth, PA).
Saturday, April 27 - Narberth Take A Breather 5 Mile Run
Online registration is open here for the annual Narberth Run.
Narberth Comprehensive Plan
This link takes you to draft of the proposed Comprehensive Plan on the Borough website. A Comprehensive plan is a long-range planning tool that helps municipalities guide future growth and development. It provides broad goals and specific strategies and implementation recommendations that form the basis for future decision-making to achieve the vision for the future.
How and why is Narberth creating a comprehensive plan? Narberth Borough set out to adopt its first Comprehensive plan to identify the community’s shared vision for the future and establish guidelines for a coordinated implementation of strategies to aid in achieving this vision. This plan is the result of a year-long process of data gathering and public input to establish the community vision and attempts to answer the question of what defines “Narberth”. The plan links the various causes and effects of change in the borough, and provides goals and recommendations to guide borough leaders in making decisions that will further the goals of the community.
How do I participate? You can attend one of the upcoming public meetings or provide feedback via the link provided on the Borough’s website, or here.
News compiled by Ed Ridgway, NBA president, and marketing consultant at Main Line PR