For The Daily Item
This letter concerns the PennDOT proposal to close the Danville-Riverside river bridge during the construction period to repair and rebuild the railroad crossing on Route 54 in Riverside.
PennDOT held a meeting in Riverside on Feb. 25 to outline its plan for the upcoming construction project. Its proposal was to shut down the river bridge between Danville and Riverside. The shutdown would start on a Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and continue until 4 a.m. the following Tuesday if necessary. Under this proposal no motorized vehicles other than school busses and emergency vehicles would be allowed to use the bridge.
There was a lot of discussion around this proposal with most of it against PennDOT’s proposal. My reasons for being against this plan are many. First, it will put undo hardship on anyone who uses the bridge on a regular basis, mainly the local residents and merchants. Second, it is being done while school is in session.
There are other reasons that I strongly oppose this plan but I will not burden anyone with them at this time. I think everyone that reads this letter will get my point. Other alternatives were proposed to PennDOT but it didn’t like any of them. One proposal was to have traffic use both South D&H. and North D&H avenues. But all of a sudden these streets cannot handle two-way traffic. I asked PennDOT: didn’t the traffic flow two ways before the new bridge was built?
Another proposal was to limit the size of vehicles, no large trucks or tractor trailers. Again no response. Do the work when school is out for summer vacation? This was knocked down by PennDOT because it didn’t want to upset Knoebel’s. Their words not mine.
At the end of this meeting they said they will hold another meeting. Well PennDOT is holding another meeting but it will be held in Montoursville at PennDOT offices which are 40 miles from Riverside. It appears to me that PennDOT hopes that those folks which are opposed to their plan will not make the trip to Montoursville.
Hey PennDOT, what is wrong with holding the meeting in Riverside? If this isn’t a railroad job (pun intended) then I don’t know what is. One last thing, I will be circulating petitions around the Danville/Riverside area for people to sign if they oppose the closing of the bridge. Please sign one of the petitions.