By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
RIVERSIDE — Seven hundred people have signed a petition opposing PennDOT’s proposed closure of the Danville-Riverside Bridge in late April or early May.
Riverside Borough Council member John Domanski presented the petition during council’s meeting Tuesday. He said most of the signers came from the Danville and Riverside areas with a few others from neighboring communities such as Elysburg and Sunbury, who would also be affected by the bridge closure.
At their March 3 meeting, council voted to oppose PennDOT’s plan to close traffic on the bridge for several days while work was performed on the railroad lines that run across Route 54. A meeting with PennDOT has been scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 24 at PennDOT’s Montoursville office. It will focus on possible alternatives to closing the bridge. Riverside borough council members will attend, as will representatives from Riverside businesses, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville Area School District and Danville borough. Representatives Kurt Masser and Lynda Culver have also been asked to attend by PennDOT.
Riverside council members encouraged residents to submit suggestions at the borough office for what residents want to see done instead of a full closure.
Mayor Joe Oberdorf conducted an unofficial survey of vehicles driving across the bridge last week. By his count, 1,253 vehicles passed over the bridge from Elysburg to Danville on Monday morning, while 1,215 used the same route on Friday morning. On Thursday morning, Oberdorf counted 841 vehicles coming from Sunbury Road and traveling across the bridge.
The council plans to draft a formal letter officially marking their opposition to PennDOT’s plan ahead of the March 24 meeting.
Another meeting with PennDOT is scheduled for April 8.