The truss bridge spanning the Delaware River at Skinners Falls, has been shut down.
PennDOT reported that the Route 1002 bridge was closing by the end of the day, Tuesday. No plan for repair has been determined. The bridge is located at Milanville, Damascus Township, connecting River Road with New York Route 97 on the other side.
The bridge, which dates to 1902, has steel spans and a timber deck. Karen Dussinger, PennDOT spokesperson, said that there is damage to a truss member which is difficult to repair. Closure was recommended following bridge inspection and a computer analysis of measurements taken.
“It’s an inconvenience to the community but if its unsafe it has to be done,” said Venessa Degori,an owner of the nearby Milanville General Store. She said it would hurt business and hopes it can be fixed by the summer. They receive a lot of business from Lander’s Campgrounds across the river, she added.
On May 28, 2009, The New York-Pennsylvania Joint Interstate Bridge Commission approved capital construction and maintenance plans for 10 Upper Delaware River bridges. At that time, major rehabilitation was expected to be phased in, for the Skinners Falls Bridge.
Repair of truss members and abutments at the Skinners Falls Bridge was to get underway in 2010 under an estimated $200,000 contract. A second phase of full rehabilitation and painting was to take place in 2015 for $8 million.
A detour has been put in place on the Pennsylvania side,sending motorists north on Route 1004 (Damascus Road) to the village of Damascus at Route 371, and then over the Damascus Bridge to reach Route 97 at Cochecton, NY. One may also travel south on River Road to Route 652 and head over the bridge to Narrowsburg, NY.
The bridge is 470 feet long and carries a single lane of traffic. According to the Wayne County Historical Society, the bridge was constructed by the American Bridge Company and funded by the Milanville Bridge Company. The bridge replaced a ferry run by raftsman Daniel Skinner and his family. It is one of several bridges in Sullivan County that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Roebling Aqueduct and Pond Eddy Bridge. The span was a toll bridge until 1928.