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Last updated: March 02. 2014 11:22PM - 2290 Views
By - jlynott@civitasmedia.com



Little has changed at the Sidney Street bridge project in Wilkes-Barre since the summer, but work is expected to resume this month with the resolution of a funding problem.
Little has changed at the Sidney Street bridge project in Wilkes-Barre since the summer, but work is expected to resume this month with the resolution of a funding problem.
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WILKES-BARRE — The long-delayed Sidney Street bridge project is set to resume this month with the resolution of a funding issue.


The $3.7 million project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.


Butch Frati, the city’s director of operations, said the contractor, Leeward Construction Inc. of Honesdale, is expected to be back on the job in two weeks.


“We finally got the issue we had with PennDOT, and the contractor worked out,” Frati said Saturday. Unfortunately, the resolution occurred when the winter weather was at its worst and not suitable for doing concrete work, he added.


PennDOT had to resolve an internal problem on the funding that caused the shutdown. The contractor did not want to continue working on the job without the money issue being settled. Leeward’s been paid for most of the work and one invoice is outstanding, Frati explained.


The steel and concrete bridge built in 1950 spanned Mill Creek and had been in poor shape. National Bridge Inventory data listed a 2010 inspection that said the bridge was structurally deficient and recommended that it be rehabilitated.


The bridge was removed last summer and detours were set up. But little has changed since then, prompting residents to ask for updates. At Thursday night’s City Council meeting the bridge project again came up and Councilman Mike Merritt said it was set to get back on track.


In June, the city approved paying its $185,600 share of the project from the Liquid Fuels budget. At 5 percent, the city’s payment was the smallest. The state was responsible for 15 percent, or $556, 800. The federal government had the largest share of $2.96 million, or 80 percent of the funding.


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