Published Date Written by Noelle Barrett
A deteriorating bridge in Lower Swatara Twp. may be replaced if the township can secure a loan.
The township commissioners unanimously agreed on Wednesday, June 18 to apply for a $500,000 loan through the Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank to replace the Richardson Road Bridge.
The bridge, located just off of Eisenhower Boulevard near the Penn Harris Gun Club, is described by the township as being in “dire need” of replacement.
“It’s very deteriorated on top and underneath,” said Sam Monticello, township manager.
Commissioners were presented with two options: replace the bridge with a metal structure for $150,000 less, or use concrete, which would last longer, according to township engineer Erin Letavic.
The board chose longevity over costs.
“The concrete is the better way to go for longevity so we wouldn’t have to go around and replace this sooner,” said Commissioner Jon Wilt.
By going through the Infrastructure Bank, the township will receive a five-year loan at a 0.5 percent interest rate, significantly lower than the average rate, according to Mike Musser, a consult for the county’s Department of Community and Economic Development.
The township would pay the loan in annual installments, with the first payment due around September 2015.
“It’s a unique program,” Musser said. “It’s kind of thinking out of the box.”
The loan application is due at the end of June, Monticello said. If the township is granted a loan, the project could go out to bid as early as mid- to late summer, with the possibility of construction beginning this year, Monticello said.
“We won’t know anything until after [the loan is approved],” he said.