YORK COUNTY, Pa. — West Manchester Township's only bridge is one of 102 in York County that has been rated in poor condition by PennDOT, and today, construction started to try and remedy that.
"I wasn't so worried about the condition, although when I learned of that, it was a concern," Ron Ruman, West Manchester Township supervisor said. "If there were to be a problem, even if it's one vehicle, it could certainly lead to injury or loss of life."
Just last week, PennDOT officials held a meeting discussing bridge conditions and inspections.
"Just because they say poor doesn't mean that there's something significantly wrong with that bridge," Melissa Batula, the acting executive deputy secretary at PennDOT said.
However, changes are coming for this bridge and residents are ecstatic.
They say aside from concerns over the bridge being in poor condition, another problem they face when crossing the Baker Road Bridge is that it's only one lane.
"You know, today, we really shouldn't have a lot of one lane bridges and then with the amount of traffic here, it's a dangerous situation because cars approach from both sides around the same time," Ruman said. "When you go across, you're never really certain is that other person is really going to wait, or if that person is going to try to beat me across."
Residents say the temporary closing of the bridge will just be a short-term inconvenience for a long-term safety improvement.
"Folks are relieved that it's going to be done, that this one lane bridge will be gone, that they'll be a new, modern, two-lane span that'll be safe because it's two lanes; it'll be safe because it's a new bridge built up to modern specifications," Ruman said.
The construction will result in the complete closing of the road and detour. Traffic signs will detour traffic onto Emig Mill, South Salem church, and Taxville Roads.
The bridge is expected to be completed in July.