Berks commissioner expresses concern over bridge inspection, analysis

READING, Pa. - At the Berks County commissioners' weekly board meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Mark C. Scott expressed concern over the resolution authorizing the director of contracts and procurement to execute a contract for the in-depth inspection of the Reading Area Community College (RACC) pedestrian bridge.

Scott said he is concerned about spending money on something that will ultimately need to be demolished due to the extensive cost that he suspects will be required to repair the structure.

"As substantial as it appears from a distance, it has some structural issues," Scott said.

Scott, however, concluded that the analysis will provide justification for the board to move forward with whatever course of action is decided upon once the inspection and analysis are complete.

Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt agreed, stating that the analysis will let them know whether it’s worth trying to salvage the bridge. 

"There's a fair number of bikers that use that bridge, but it's certainly not a tremendous value to the county," Barnhardt said.

Barnhardt added that, with the "eventual rebuilding of the bypass," they will try to "provide some biking/pedestrian access from the trail across the Bingaman Street on up through the city."

The inspection will be performed by Pickering, Corts & Summerson, Inc., Newtown, Bucks County, at the cost of $47,364.60. It will include an evaluation of information furnished by the owner; an investigation of existing conditions; tests, analyses, studies, etc.; and an analysis of alternatives.

Commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach was not in attendance at Thursday's meeting. 

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