The Milford Board of Supervisors expressed strong opposition to a proposed 18-month rehabilitation plan for Milford Square Pike Bridge that township officials say could be completed in a week.
In a letter addressed to the Bucks County Division of General Services, engineering consulting firm McCormick Taylor, Inc. presented several “critical priority maintenance items” that required immediate attention in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regulations.
These items included addressing severe abrasion, filing a scour hole, placing rock protection along the footing and repairing the far abutment footing.
According to Milford Supervisors, the county has told them restorations could result in an 18-month detour route to the bridge that overlooks Unami Creek.
Township Manager Jeffrey Vey said the board wasn’t given enough notice to react, and others said that with the bridge being county-owned, their hands are relatively tied.
“The biggest problem is it’s not our bridge,” said supervisor Charles Strunk. “All we can do is get a hold of the county commissioners and shake them.”
Public Works Director Dave Winkler said he believed the outlined repairs could be done in seven days and with less than $25,000.
When asked whether a township takeover of the project was even plausible, Vey lamented the circumstances.
“In a really practical world of getting things done, I have a road crew that works hard and knows how to get things done,” he said, contrasting with the current situation.
Solicitor Terry Clemons, however, expressed confusion over the county’s intent, saying that a bridge closing was not imminent.
“I think somebody on the county’s part took fire before they took aim,” he said, describing the 18-month plan as premature. “I don’t see anything here that says you are required to close the bridge until anything is mitigated.”
Members of the board though lamented the toll a closing could have on the township.
“I just can’t image Milford Square Pike closed for 18 months,” said supervisor Thomas Courduff.
“What about emergency services?” said Winkler. “I’m more worried about the annoyance than the dollar signs.”