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Jackson Township plans emergency access bridge

JACKSON TWP — Township supervisors on Monday discussed building an emergency bridge behind Seneca Valley High School.

“We applied for multimodal funding for a bridge over the Little Connoquenessing Creek,” township manager Chris Rearick said. “It’s essentially designed for emergency access.”

The proposed bridge would extend from the backside of the campus to Evergreen Mill Road. Access to it would be under the jurisdiction of the school district.

“It would allow for pedestrian and bicycle access at the discretion of the school,” Rearick said. “The initial catalyst for the idea was to have that reciprocal access where — if there were an emergency on campus or on Seneca School Road and access was limited — it could be used for access to campus.”

The bridge also would serve The Grove at Harmony, a nursing home on Evergreen Mill Road, as well as JADCO Manufacturing.

“There’s been flooding many times on each end of Evergreen Mill Road,” Rearick said. “In those instances, there would be an arrangement with the school district where they can cross and access.”

The township is waiting for a response to their Multimodal Transportation Grant application, but they also have begun to discuss alternative emergency routes.

“We have had discussions with a property owner at the end of Nickle Street whose property often gets utilized to cross during [flooding] events,” Rearick said. “There are really two key properties, and we’re hoping to work with those owners on an emergency road through there.”

Rearick said the township hopes to have a decision within the next few months.

“We’re hopeful that we can get funding for the bridge,” he said. “Whether or not we do, we’d still continue the discussions with the property owners on Evergreen and Nickle about an emergency road.”

Next step for stormwater projects

After approving $1,102,948.35 in a municipal infrastructure grant, the township is moving forward with four stormwater projects.

“Much of what we’ll be doing this year is property acquisition,” Rearick said. “We’ll be approaching property owners and discussing options for easements with them.”

The projects include improvements to Northgate Plaza, Swampoodle, German Street and the Tollgate basin.

“We can hopefully get them under contract by year’s end for construction,” Rearick said. “That’ll be the goal.”

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