Bridgeville is on solid financial footing, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, according to a recent budget review. Now, borough officials are eager to move forward with approximately $1.1 million in flood-prevention and community infrastructure projects.
Approximately two-thirds of that cost will be funded by various grants. The borough may borrow the remaining $360,000 dollars, an idea that is especially appealing with interest rates currently hovering just above zero.
“We’ll be going full throttle to get as many projects as we can done this year and going forward,” said councilman Joe Verduci, how heads the borough’s finance committee. “There was a lot of planning in the past two years,” Verduci said, “and we’re finally going to be able to see some things get done.”
Here’s what’s on tap:
McLaughlin Creek Trash Rack: During heavy rains, large debris rushes down McLaughlin Creek, clogs the waterways in Bridgeville, and contributes to flooding near Baldwin Street. To prevent this, Bridgeville will install “trash racks” in the creek near McLaughlin Park. Sort of like large sink strainers, these devices will stop tree branches and other debris before they reach populated parts of town. Work is expected to begin this fall.
Lowering the McLaughlin Park Ballfield: While the trash racks are installed, workers will also lower the elevation of the park’s baseball/softball field, allowing that greenspace to serve as a retention pond to reduce the amount of water that rushes toward Baldwin Street.
Bower Hill Storm Sewer Improvements: Bridgeville received grant funding to install catchbasins and storm sewers on Bower Hill Road at Union Street. This area experienced flooding in the past.
Maple Street Wall: This rebuilding of the wall that contains McLaughlin Run Creek near Maple Street actually began three weeks ago. Work is expected to wrap up soon.
Commercial Street Headwalls: Behind the Dari-Delite, McLaughlin Run Creek flows beneath Commercial Street via two underground tunnels. During the 2018 flood, the tunnels’ concrete entrances were damaged and continues to deteriorate. Workers will begin repairing/rebuilding the headwalls during the next month or so.
Jane Way Access Ramp: Another frequent flooding point is the area behind the Beer Warehouse on Railroad Street. This fall, the borough will build an access ramp that allows public works crews to easily access the creek and remove debris as needed.
McLaughlin Run Park Improvements: Starting this fall, the park will get new picnic pavilions, an improved parking lot, a handicapped parking area, a new flag pole, signage, landscaping, skate park equipment, and other fixes.
New Municipal Building Parking Lot: Earlier this year the borough demolished the house 416 Darby Way, which is directly next to the municipal building. During the next month or two, the now-empty plot of land will become a 12-car parking lot with an LED community message board facing Bower Hill Road.
Additional House Demolitions (Maybe): The borough recently applied for grant money to demolish five other condemned houses—105 Prestley, 146 Liberty St., 145 Liberty St., 1364 Terrace St., and 917 Laurel Street.