Public Meeting in Brownsville for Historic Bridge Rehabilitation Project | Local News


Public input is requested for the proposed rehabilitation of a historic Brownsville Bridge.

From 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on October 6, representatives from the State Department of Transportation will be on-site at Snowden Square in Brownsville to explain the Dunlap Creek Bridge rehabilitation project.

Built in 1839, the Dunlap Creek Bridge (Cast Iron Bridge) was the first cast iron metal arch bridge built in the United States.

The proposed project will rehabilitate the bridge to maintain its historical significance while constructing a new pedestrian bridge upstream.

Gary Ferrari, project manager at PennDOT, said the nearly 200-year-old bridge was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers and carried the old national road over Dunlap Creek.

“The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in addition to being a National Historic Civil Engineering monument,” said Ferrari.

Norma Ryan, a board member for the Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation (BARC), said she runs tours of the city and while people are in awe of the bridge, some don’t know its history.

“We also had tourists who read on this bridge and came to town to pick it up,” she said. “The bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has received numerous awards, including the ASM Prize which was also awarded to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and the Statue of Liberty.”

Ferrari said it anticipates a good turnout at the meeting, which will provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed project.

“With all of the renovations and improvements to the neighborhood, there is a lot of interest in revitalizing the historic neighborhood where the bridge is located,” he said.

Ryan said Brownsville historians are delighted the bridge is being maintained by PennDOT.

“At this point there has been no controversy over the rehabilitation of the bridge,” said Ferrari. “We have worked closely with the consultative parties and the local authorities to avoid any negative effects on the bridge with the rehabilitation and the historic district. “

Ferrari said that currently the tentative start date for the project is April 2024, with completion scheduled for November 2024.

“Once the environmental clearance is approved, we will take a closer look at the schedule and hopefully can move the start date to the 2023 construction season,” he said.

Ferrari added that the preliminary technical estimate is between $ 6 million and $ 7.5 million.

The public meeting will be held at the Snowden Square Amphitheater, across from Iron Bridge Crossing, at 5 Market Street, Brownsville. In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be moved inside the Iron Bridge Crossing building.

Anyone needing additional information can contact Ferrari at 724-439-7156 or email [email protected] prior to the meeting.

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