A company which works at building bridges is finding it’s costing big bucks to complete bridge project.
Each of these bridge beams is 165 feet long and weighs 216 thousand pounds. They’re made by Northeast Prestressed Products in Cressona. That’s a heavy load for any bridge but because Pennsylvania has so many bridges in need of repair, the company, that makes the mega loads, is forced to make major detours just to get the construction products delivered.
Tom Koons the company president said he’s concerned.
“Because there is a posted bridge in Reading, it can’t take the weight of our products. It’s an about an additional 65 miles and an additional 2 to 3 hours.”
Northeast Prestressed Product officials say it costs them extra $4,000 per beam to take the detour. Company officials explain they pass that cost onto the contractor building the bridge who passes it onto PennDot.
Bob Carl runs the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce.Carl said there are funding proposals in Harrisburg to fast track fixing the bridges but that could cost consumers.
“Could increase prices at the gas pump over 5 years we believe it would be 5 cents a gallon maybe culminating to 28 cents total.”
Heather Stefan of Pottsville believes something has to be done to fix the bridges.
“A lot of them have to be worked on there is a lot that should be closed down that aren’t closed down.”
Officials said it’s taken years for the bridges to deteriorate and it will take years to make repairs.