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Lower Swatara moves forward on $3.1 million bridge, drainage improvements

Lower Swatara Twp.’s commissioners voted June 15  to move forward with $3.1 million in capital improvements that will encompass replacing two bridges and updating storm water drainage system.DS Lower Swatara Township Building 2012WEB

Bridge projects


The commissioners announced the township’s plan to borrow about $700,000 through the Dauphin Co.’s infrastructure bank to replace the Highland Street bridge and a second bridge on Richardson Road, in addition to the bridge already being replaced this year.


Application for the loan is expected to be made in September.


The township closed the Highland Street bridge in March due to concerns about the safety of the span. The bridge crosses Laurel Run, serving one Lower Swatara home before the road continues into Swatara Twp.


Lower Swatara is now in the bidding process for the replacement of the Richardson Road bridge that crosses an unnamed tributary of Laurel Run. The second Richardson Road bridge lies just south of the first and crosses Buser Run, which is formed after the stream merges with Laurel Run.


Township manager Anne Shambaugh said if funding is approved, the township will complete the permitting and engineering this year with construction of the two bridges to begin as soon as possible in 2017.

Solving storm water drainage problems


The commissioners also voted to seek funding through Pennvest, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, for four projects that will stabilize roads with aging drainage systems.


“Pennvest is starting to fund storm water (improvements),” said Erin Letavic, the township’s engineer. “I highly recommend you get in on it before it becomes competitive.”

Lower Swatara’s cost equals
$1.2 million


Letavic said the drainage correct project carries a price tag estimated of $2.4 million. She said the project would be eligible for 50 percent grant.

Officials believe the township would be eligible to receive a low-interest loan for the other half of the project’s cost, $1.2 million.


Shambaugh said the township will have the projects ready to begin construction by the Pennvest application deadline in November.


The first project will bring improvements to Rosedale Manor, including Mountainview Road, Lexington Avenue, Hanover Street, Market Street Extended and Brentwood Drive.


The second project covers Shope’s Garden, including Nissley Drive, Richard Avenue, Donald Avenue and Burd Road.


The remaining projects involve work on Georgetown Road and Longview Drive from Ebenezer to Strites roads.


Letavic told commissioners these projects have risen to the top of the township’s road improvement plan. Dan Wagner, the township’s public works superintendent, presented the project list to the commissioners in October 2015, prioritizing them in a five-year plan.


After the project list was publicly announced, Tom Mehaffie, president of the board of commissioners, acknowledged the importance of the projects but stated several factors, specifically the cost of the projects, casts some uncertainty as to whether the township would be able to complete them within five years.


Eric Wise: 717-944-4628, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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