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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Twp. cuts back due to finances

  • -The township is facing many financial issues - including being required to to buy multiple road signs for each bridge - and as a result have cut hours at the municipal building, said Jeffrey Dexter, chairman of the board of supervisors.
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    -The township is facing many financial issues - including being required to to buy multiple road signs for each bridge - and as a result have cut hours at the municipal building, said Jeffrey Dexter, chairman of the board of supervisors.
    The township has between 20 to 30 bridges and the cost of each custom-made sign - which would have to be federally approved - could cost up to $500.
    Dexter said the issue is frustrating in part because several of the bridges lead to only a handful of residential properties.
    "Some of it is total nonsense," said the supervisor.
    Bridge issue
    The township must have at least two signs per bridge, one for each direction, and in some cases three signs. Dexter said it is vexing because when a vehicle goes over a span that leads nowhere but to one or two residences, the motorist can identify what the restrictions are and there is no need to have a sign on the other side of the bridge.
    "Common sense should tell you that it's not a through road," said the supervisor.
    Dexter added that signs must be placed before bridges restricting semi-trucks when it would be obvious to the driver that the bridge can't handle the weight.
    If the township doesn't post the signs it would end up paying fines when there are bridge inspections.
    The timetable for the placement of the signs depends upon "degrees of importance," he said.
    Meanwhile, tight finances has resulted in the township reducing its hours operation at its municipal building.
    The building is now open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday; it is no longer open on Friday.
    The move impacts the secretary and treasurer, one of whom had worked 8 to 2 two days a week and the other who had worked five days a week and now works four.
    "The hours vary person to person. ... They'd much rather the previous hours," said Dexter, adding that the township is making adjustments to meet the needs of township residents.
    Part of the additional expenses are because the township is looking to pave Chicopee Road.
    Page 2 of 2 - Grants and liquid fuels' money will help, but the township will have to pay about $5,000 each for water-crossing permits. It was unclear how many water crossing permits the township needs to obtain.
    PennDOT also has recently released a list of risk-based bridges in the commonwealth, six of which are in Damascus.
    The risk-based designation adds new weight restrictions or lowers existing weight restrictions to essentially increase the longevity of the spans.
    The six Damascus bridges are on Plank Road, Davis Road, Boyce Road, Hopkins Road, Hopkins Road T-634 and River Road.
    The new weight restriction are pending on those spans.
    PennDOT couldn't immediately comment on Wednesday.

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