WEST WYOMING — Borough officials hosted a special informational session Wednesday night to educate the public about a bridge replacement project slated for 2014.
The bridge, which allows travelers to cross over Abraham’s Creek, is near the particularly busy intersection of West Eighth Street and Shoemaker Avenue. Adding to traffic congestion worries is the impact this will have on businesses around the intersection.
The regularly inspected, aging bridge is structurally sound, without any weight restrictions, but state officials have determined it deficient enough to warrant replacement.
Barbara Idhaw, a project manager for the Greenman-Pedersen Inc. engineering consulting firm, said traffic on Shoemaker Avenue could possibly be detoured for up to three months, but he anticipates it to more likely be for a span of two months.
Additional construction, which will not completely close the street, will be performed from March through the fall of 2014.
Idhaw said incentives and penalties will be inserted into any contract in the hope of expediting the work.
A lot of attention during Wednesday’s meeting was paid to Abraham’s Creek Ice Cream. The establishment’s operators fear that the project’s time frame will drastically diminish their business.
The operators also said they are worried about how this will affect their ability to pay their workers, many of whom are high school students. They said that $29,000 was paid out to their workers during the summer of 2012.
Kevin L. Park, owner of Abraham’s Creek Ice Cream, estimated $80,000 to $100,000 worth of business is conducted at the parlor during months when construction is likely to take place.
While the state will not compensate for loss of business, officials have promised significant signage indicating routes to the ice cream parlor and other businesses in the area.
Although final schedules and specifications have not yet been worked out, proposed detour routes and project blueprints are on display at the West Wyoming Borough Building on West Eighth Street and will be up for future public meetings.