News Release: Road & Bridge First Runner Up
April 30, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PSATS Director of Communications
Farmington Township Named First Runner Up in Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest
Farmington Township in Clarion County received the first runner up award in the 31st Annual Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest, presented at the 91st Annual Educational Conference of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) in Hershey April 21-24. The conference attracted attendees from every county in Pennsylvania except Philadelphia, which has no townships. Farmington Township was recognized for a bridge replacement project.
The township association sponsors the statewide Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest each year in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the state Department of Transportation to recognize townships for their extensive contributions of time and effort in making roads and bridges safer.
Farmington Township received its award for replacing a bridge on Lencer Drive that was in poor condition and had been recommended for closure by PennDOT District Municipal Services. The township installed a temporary bridge in January 2012 to keep the road open while exploring cost-effective options to repair or replace the deteriorating structure.
The road is fairly heavily traveled and is a school bus route, township roadmaster Francis Allio says. Once school was out for the summer and all the permits were in place, the township prepared to tear out the old bridge and install an aluminum box culvert. Using a prefabricated aluminum structure instead of concrete was a large cost savings, he says. It was also a better option because the bridge crosses a high-value trout stream and the metal doesn’t deteriorate like concrete.
With the help of Municipal Services and grants from Clarion County’s liquid fuels funds and the state’s Dirt and Gravel Road Maintenance Program, the township was able to replace the bridge for one-fifth of the cost of the original estimate. The grants covered about 42 percent of the $114,000 cost to replace the bridge and cover the approaches with driving surface aggregate, Allio says. Aside from a contractor for two days and engineers, the township road crew did most of the work, saving even more money.
“Everyone worked well together to complete this project,” he says. “The township crew, state and county government, even the township secretary was very helpful.
“It was very nice for the township to be recognized,” Allio adds. “We’re just a small municipality, and we were honored to be selected from among projects from all over the state.”
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The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,455 townships of the second class and for the past 92 years has been committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class cover 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land mass and represent more residents — 5.5 million — than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth.