The front page of Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway’s website says that community safety is a “top priority” at the company.
But Bridgeville officials are ready to give up trying to convince the company to fix a potentially hazardous stretch of sidewalk the railroad owns along Washington Avenue.
Now, Bridgeville may just pay to repair the sidewalk and send a bill to the railroad.
Council earlier this week asked manager Lori Collins to get estimates to repair the sidewalk, which is located near the railroad trestle at the north end of town.
“We’ll try to charge them,” said council president Michael Tolmer, “and if we get it great, and if not, then at least we fixed the sidewalk.”
Truthfully, council is being generous by calling the railroad-owned land a “sidewalk” anymore. The concrete has disintegrated into a fine dust that bears the footprints of those brave enough to lay foot upon this suburban goat trail during inclement weather. The ice and puddles get so bad that some pedestrians actually prefer to walk on the road toward oncoming traffic rather than negotiate the “sidewalk.”
For many months, the borough has been asking Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to fix it, but with no results.
For a while, it looked like PennDOT might repair the railroad’s sidewalk as part of an ADA improvement project, but the state road agency then realized that this section of Bridgeville isn’t slated for that curb improvement program.
That puts the onus back on the railroad.
“We’re going to push a little harder with [the railroad] and their legal department to see if we can’t get something done,” Collins said.
If that fails, borough council might decide next month that the borough will pay for the fix itself.