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NFC: NW PA Hearing Tonight

I know this is getting out kinda late but I wanted to share it anyway. The area under "Gravel Run Bridge" is one of my favorite "creeking" areas. There are many, many species of Endangered or Threatend species that live in a riffle right under that bridge including many mussle and darter species. I will be going and speaking at this hearing on behalf of the very special animals that live there. If there is anyone else local who could come I encourage you to join me. Email me off list wally at wallybillingham_com for more info.

Part of the plan involves "moving" the mussles to another area. I wonder how you move an animal that has lived in the same spot for 75-100 years with out stressing and killing it? I look forward to hearing what they have to say. I will keep you all informed.



March 26, 2002 (Oil City) - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announces an public informational meeting to discuss bridge closures in Crawford County.

PENNDOT will hold a public meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 7:00 pm at the Venango Borough Fire Hall in Venango. 

Residents and interested citizens will have an opportunity to discuss the Skeltontown Bridge and the Gravel Run Bridge which were closed a few weeks ago.

The Skeltontown Bridge over Bales Run in Venango Township was built in 1893. This Wrought Iron Pony Truss Bridge was closed on January 25, 2002. It is believed that an overweight truck caused damage to a floorbeam. The bridge was previously posted at 3 tons and it carried approximately 252 vehicles per day. Estimated replacement cost is $830,000 with design efforts underway.

The Gravel Run Bridge over French Creek in Cambridge Township was built in 1893. This Thru Truss bridge was closed on February 6, 2002. The bridge had been posted at 3 tons and carried approximately 584 vehicles per day. A routine inspection discovered excessively rusted structural members, forcing the bridge to be closed for public safety. The bridge is located in one of the regions of French Creek with a biodiverse population of fresh water mussels, including threatened and endangered species. Environmental studies will need to be conducted to determine the impact on threatened and endangered mussel species. The preliminary replacement cost of the bridge is $3.6 million.

Residents who are interested in obtaining more information on these bridges should plan to attend the meeting. PENNDOT representatives will be on hand to answer questions. Please contact William Koller at 814-678-7106 or Deborah Schreckengost at 814-678-7095 for more information.

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