This week, council members provided an update that they are only awaiting permits from the state to be able to begin rehabilitation work at the Ninth Street Pedestrian bridge.

Councilman Bob Dollar, who also serves on the Tyrone Historical Society board, said council has approved the work and financial aspects of doing the work, but nothing can be done until permits are in hand.

According to council, Borough engineers have finalized the project design and plans. The majority of council approved spending $156,300 towards the project, after receiving a $200,000 grant — a Multi-modal Transportation Fund grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

“The engineer tried calling the Department of Environmental Protection, that’s where the buck is stopping with us right now,” said Councilman David Snyder. “We have had the permit [request] submitted since last year.”

Dollar said he expects the Borough will be calling monthly to follow up on the permits. He hopes to see something done at the bridge by autumn. A positive — the permits are lifetime permits which will allow for future repairs to be done.

Improvements will include new steps, and ramps for ADA accessibility requirements, and the bridge will be brought up to code. Council members hope to see the park used as much as Reservoir Park, and the Historical Society has discussed adding more picnic tables and making other improvements.

“We are excited, we are really excited,” said Dollar.

According to Dollar, they have talked about cleaning up the site, and exposing original brickwork behind the History Museum near the railroad tracks. The Historical Society has a goal of raising $20,000 towards the bridge restoration work, and has reached the $12,000 mark. Shirts donated by Exposed Grafix -available at Ingenuity Media on 10th Street — are a step towards helping fund the cause.

“Hopefully the wait is worth it,” said Snyder. “The Ninth Street bridge, as far as the majority of council is concerned, could be fixed yesterday. If we had the permits, it would be fixed already.”

Adeena Harbst can be reached at aharbst@thedailyherald.net.

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