Bridges Crumbling in Lackawanna County

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Two bridges right at the Lackawanna County/Wyoming County line are showing a great deal of wear and tear. People who live nearby said repairs are desperately needed, but no one will own up to being responsible.

“The bridge is in disrepair. There’s school buses, trucks, horse trailers and regular transportation that goes over it every single day. The bridge is crumbling and deteriorating,” said Ceil Rydzewski of Benton Township.

The bridges are along Reynolds Road and Seamans Road near Factoryville and the wear and tear is easy to see.

Robert Pawlukovich lives about a half mile away and said the exposed metal bar and the crumbling concrete make him nervous.

“The bridge has been falling apart in the 10 years that I’ve been here. It’s progressively getting worse and worse and worse, and now it’s to the point to where it doesn’t seem like it’s at all safe,” said Pawlukovich.

Newswatch 16 contacted PennDOT, Lackawanna County, Benton Township and Canadian Pacific Railroad, which runs right underneath both bridges. No one claims to own the bridges.

Jean Bitler walks across the bridges frequently and said they make her nervous. She wishes the owner would step forward.

“They ought to be held responsible if it’s their responsibility, they ought to fix it,” said Bitler.

Without a piece of chain-link fence you could fall straight over and drop down about 100 feet to the railroad tracks, and people who live around the area said they want someone to take responsibility before someone gets hurt.

“There’s never really been an answer. It’s not the township, it’s not the railroad, it just seems like nobody does anything to do repairs to it,” said Pawlukovich.

Those who have lived near the Seaman’s and Reynold’s bridge for decades said they’ve never seen any crews come to repair the bridge, and they hold their breath every time they have to cross.

“Yes, as a matter of fact I do. I think ‘Let’s hope not this time,’ or when the school bus is going across or anyone for that matter. It’s tough,” said Jane Mallonee of Benton Township.

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