EXETER – State officials told Newswatch 16 that the owner of a crumbling railroad bridge in Luzerne County has 10 days to decide if he will have the bridge fixed or dismantled.
According to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, a bridge that used to link train tracks from Exeter to Duryea “is in imminent danger of collapse”.
“The water just keeps hitting those piers and the concrete just snaps away and snaps away. That`s not good for the structure on top, which is thousands of pounds of metal,” said spokesperson Colleen Connolly. “If that bridge were to go into the Susquehanna River and collapse, it could cause flooding and a backup of the river. Homes in those areas have seen flooding before. They certainly don’t want to see it again.”
Luzerne County officials told Newswatch 16 that Leo Glodzik purchased the bridge a few years ago for around $5,000.
State officials said it’s expected to cost more than $600,000 to have the bridge dismantled.
Glodzik made headlines last year, after he was charged with stealing bait money from a towed car.
The former contracted tower for the city is also facing a $500,000 lien for unpaid state income taxes and interest.
People who live upstream from the bridge called it an eyesore and a danger to low-lying properties in Harding.
“There`s a good chance that thing is going to fall in the river some day and create a dam, and we`ll all be… underwater,” said Louise Lasinski. “Everybody is responsible for their own stuff, right? It`s somebody`s property. If it`s going to harm other people, they are the ones responsible.”
If Glodzik does not respond to the notice of violation, officials said the case could go to court, and Luzerne County or the state might get the demolition bill.