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By Geri Gibbons - ggibbons@timesleader.com
Workers move heavy equipment into place Monday to begin replacing a bridge on Coal Street in Plymouth Township. -

PLYMOUTH TWP. — Although closure of the street where he lives might mean needing to leave home a bit early to reach his destination, Matthew Vinciarelli says the extra time is worth it.

A resident of Coal Street, Vinciarelli was on site as construction workers arrived to begin work to replace the Coal Street bridge, removing a temporary one in place since the fall of 2011 — when the Coal Creek overflowed its banks — and replacing it with a permanent one.

Vinciarelli took time to point out the route he would take to reach Shawnee Avenue, which he said would be “only slightly out of my way.”

Gale Conrad, chairman of the township’s board of supervisors, said crews arrived Monday to begin the work.

Conrad emphasized that the replacement is necessary and officials from both Plymouth Township and Plymouth Borough had made every effort to inform residents that the bridge and part of the roadway which link the two municipalities will be out of commission for at least a few months.

The project, she said, was made possible by a state gaming grant expected to cover the cost, estimated at just over $242,000.

Linde Enterprises has been contracted to complete the project, she said.

Signage has been strategically placed to get the message out and limit inconvenience to residents.

“We don’t want residents driving down the mountain, only to have to turn around,” she said. “We’ve tried to make sure everyone knows the area will be closed.”

Garry Neupauer, who has lived on Coal Street for 15 years, shares Vinciarelli’s positive spirit about the project.

Taking time to walk his dog and chat with construction workers, Neupauer said it is a project that needs to be done.

Vinciarelli said he was pleased that the old bridge will not be wasted, but instead, according to Conrad, will be sold for another municipality to use.

“I originally heard that it was going to be sold for scrap,” he said. “That didn’t seem right.”

Conrad looked back at the 2011 flooding which overflowed the road and caused extreme damage to the bridge, closing the road for several months.

The permanent bridge, Conrad said, will be stronger and more flood-worthy, but acknowledged that there are no guarantees.

“You can never predict flooding and its effects,” she said. “We can just expect and hope the bridge will hold.”

She credited street department workers from both the township and the borough with doing all they could to notify residents of changing traffic patterns to limit inconvenience.

Workers move heavy equipment into place Monday to begin replacing a bridge on Coal Street in Plymouth Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_coalstreet-1.jpg Shoes Dolce Black Grey Formal Gabbana amp; amp;Gabbana Dolce Grey amp; Black Formal Dolce Dolce amp;Gabbana Gabbana Shoes Workers move heavy equipment into place Monday to begin replacing a bridge on Coal Street in Plymouth Township.

By Geri Gibbons

ggibbons@timesleader.com

Reach Geri Gibbons at 570-991-6117 or on Twitter @TLGGibbons

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Reach Geri Gibbons at 570-991-6117 or on Twitter @TLGGibbons

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