By Nick Archacki, news editor
On January 16, a Lincoln Recycling truck extension boom arm collided with the Route 6 and 19 bridge over French Creek between Saegertown and Meadville, damaging the structure and rendered in unusable. Four overhead metal cross beams, side support beams, and the deck of the bridge were damaged in the collision.
With the heavily used bridge being closed for over two and a half months, local residents have had to use alternate routes to reach work, school, or other destinations. Thankfully, the bridge’s repair phase is coming to an end.
An article in Wednesday’s Meadville Tribune stated that the bridge is anticipated to be open “[at] the end of the week.” The same article listed the cost of repairs at roughly $400,000 and claimed that if the bridge is not complete by April 9, Advantage Steel & Construction will face fines of $7,500 every day the bridge is not open.
Saegertown students have had to make adjustments to their normal commutes. “I had to get used to a new route when I go to Meadville, and I had to remind myself that I couldn’t go my normal way there,” senior Will Phelan said. The bridge is open to Black road.
“I am a bit upset about it being closed because I always go over that bridge to get to Allegheny College for my college classes,” senior Kassie Boyd said. “I miss the easy access to town.”
According to the Meadville Tribune, an average of almost 7,000 vehicles travel over this structure per day and an average of 2,555,000 vehicles travel over the bridge per year.
Surprisingly, the driver of the Lincoln Recycling truck only had to pay $807.50 in fines.
With Saegertown’s tumultuous relationship with its bridges, many are holding their breath until the next round of unexpected road repairs.