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Emergency Repairs Needed For Shaffer/Bens Creek Bridge

WGN PA-56-11

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Somerset County, PA, September 11, 2009 - An inspection of the Shaffer Covered Bridge revealed that a heavy snow would collapse the roof, likely destroying the bridge.

The Somerset County Commissioners authorized the engineering firm The EADS Group of Somerset to prepare the scope of work for Shaffer Bridge in Conemaugh Township and to proceed with repairs on an emergency basis, before winter snows begin. Because time is critical, the normal bidding and advertising process is being bypassed, the Commissioners explain. The engineering firm will obtain quotes for the cost of repair from construction firms and the job will go to the lowest quote.

The repairs, which are estimated to cost around $100,000, will be paid through state liquid fuels funds. The county checked into getting grant money, but none was available.

The 67-foot Shaffer Bridge was built in 1877 to span Bens Creek using a Burr truss. With a weight limit of 3 tons, about 50 vehicles use it daily. It is one of ten covered bridges surviving in the county.

For the story and photo, go to:

[Our thanks to Tom Walczak for finding this article - Ed.]

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