DAMASCUS—The need for bridge replacement on High School Road was discovered during recent road maintenance, announced the Damascus Township Board of Supervisors at their May 21 meeting held last Monday evening.

Board Chairman Joseph Canfield explained the township's road crew was preparing to mill the road and perform pothole repairs when they discovered a bad beam on the bridge, necessitating the structure's replacement.

Until the bridge is replaced, there is a posted three-ton weight limit for traffic trying to cross.

“We're looking at buying a bridge, having a manufactured bridge that we can bring in, take the old one out, cap the abutments,” said Canfield.

The chairman clarified the township plans to keep the abutments that are there already and set the new, two-piece bridge connected to them once the old is taken out.

Canfield estimated the cost for replacement would fall between $50,000 and $75,000 for the township.

The supervisors believe the repairs will go quickly once the bridge is acquired.

“The bridge can actually be set in a day if the abutments are ready,” said Supervisor Steve Adams.

He added that the gap is short enough to be spanned without treading into the stream below.

“We're not actually gonna be doing anything in the stream bed, so that makes things a lot easier for the whole process,” said Adams.

Supervisor Daniel Rutledge agreed the process would be fairly smooth, “as long as the abutments are in good shape.”

In other road business, Supervisor-for-a-Day Lars Balthasar reported traffic on the Narrowsburg, NY-Darbytown, PA Bridge was expected to transition to the other lane where the new closed deck was installed so the same may be done to the other side.

The second phase of repairs are expected to be done by this fall.

Balthasar also announced construction on the Kellams, NY-Stalker, PA Bridge is expected to finish by June 29, ending the current 22-mile detour around the crossing in time for summer.

The section will be closed to paint traffic lines for two months beginning after Labor Day.

The whole project cost roughly $4.5 million.

The young supervisor-for-a-day noted the only new capital project for the NY-PA Joint Interstate Bridge Commission is a $500,000 shared cost for final design of the Callicoon, NY-Damascus, PA Bridge superstructure replacement and substructure repairs.

Impending deck replacements reported by the young supervisor-for-a-day include the Cochecton, NY-Damascus, PA Bridge in 2021 and the Port Jervis, NY, Matamoras, PA Bridge in 2022.

He also noted bridge commission maintenance and repair costs on the Calliccon-Damascus Bridge ($22,672), the Port Jervis-Matamoras Bridge ($20,676) and the Skinners Falls, NY-Milanville, PA Bridge ($14,480), mostly fixing “headache bars” which were installed to discourage oversized vehicles using the bridges.

Other business

The supervisors set a public hearing on June 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the township municipal building to discuss matters of renewing a junkyard license for the lot in Galilee.

Residents are welcome to appear at that time and voice their questions and concerns concerning the matter.

In a separate matter, the supervisors awarded the bid for tar and chip sealing on Creek Road, Duck Harbor Road and High School Road to Pocono Spray Patching.

The total bid price was $96,409.47.