By Konstantine Fekos
VERNON TOWNSHIP —
Officials in Vernon Townshp and the City of Meadville are moving forward with agreements regarding the Mead Avenue Bridge and potential upcoming construction.
“These are mostly maintenance agreements,” said Vernon Township Manager David Stone. “Nothing is definite until county commissioners sign off on them.”
Township supervisors plan to accept ownership of two sidewalks expected to span the bridge while maintenance responsibility for the sidewalks as well as a stormwater bioretention pond and traffic signal would be retained by the county since the bridge is county-owned.
“(The county) will have to maintain the bridge anyways,” said Stone, who hopes to pass the agreements at the supervisors’ regular meeting tonight before submitting them to the county commissioners.
Official documents containing the agreements were not released, but supervisors hope to publicize the information once they are made official.
Supervisors expect to enter negotiations with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regarding the agreements to address any engineering and design issues.
“This project is heading towards a conclusion,” said Stone. “We’re getting down to the permit application phase.”
Also, Meadville City Council is discussing a request from Pennsylvania Electric Company for easements that will allow power lines to be moved underground in the vicinity of the bridge. The discussion is expected to continue when the city’s attorney works out final details of the agreement with the utility.
“Penelec lines can no longer go aerial — they have to go underground,” Assistant City Manager Andy Walker told council members during their monthly study session Wednesday afternoon.
The major electrical line, which provides service to several businesses in the area, will go above ground to a pole in the vicinity of the bridge before going underground, crossing under the Mead Avenue approach to the bridge and re-emerging to be connected to a pole on the opposite side.
Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.