ShareThis Page
West Deer walking bridge in no man’s land |

West Deer walking bridge in no man’s land

| Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:00 a.m

West Deer officials are trying to determine the fate of a walking bridge along Little Deer Creek Valley Road.

The bridge has fallen into disrepair and is not safe to walk on, according to code enforcement officer Gary Bogan.

Closing the bridge would create another hazard, he said, by forcing pedestrians to walk onto a narrow portion of Little Deer Creek Valley Road.

“They walk (on the bridge) because (they think) it’s safer,” township Manager Daniel Mator said, “but the bridge is not safe.”

Bogan sent notice of the hazard to Thomas Piltoff of Russelton, who owns property near the bridge.

Piltoff said at Wednesday night’s meeting that the property isn’t his.

Officials said the bridge is on a state right-of-way. But the state doesn’t maintain sidewalks or walking bridges, Bogan said.

“Somebody needs to do something with it,” he said.

Piltoff expressed concerns about who would be liable if someone got hurt on the bridge.

About a year ago, officials said, someone did.

Mator said a man walked over the bridge, fell and hurt his shoulder because of the bridge’s poor condition. The man contacted the township but, Mator said, because the bridge isn’t township property, West Deer’s insurance company didn’t cover it.

“It’s not our property, it’s not our road,” he said. “So it’s a tough position.”

The township’s hands are tied when it comes to fixing the bridge. According to Mator, if West Deer performed the repairs, which Piltoff estimated would cost a few hundred dollars, the township would be liable for any future accidents.

The township, nonetheless, will see what it can do.

“We’ll look into it,” Mator said. “We have a good working relationship with the state.”

In other business:

•The West Deer EMS asked supervisors for approval to use its $25,000 annual allocation from the township to cover worker’s compensation costs for its staff.

The service usually uses a portion of the allotment to cover the costs, but this year it has taken on a new carrier — UPMC Health Benefits — and has to seek approval again.

The cost through UPMC is a little more than $15,000, according to Carol Makowski, of the EMS service. She said that represents about a $10,000 savings over what West Deer EMS paid when it purchased worker’s compensation through the state.

Supervisors will take action on the request at the board’s September meeting.

•The township is accepting bids for an asphalt paving project at Bairdford Park that will improve accessibility to its baseball field and pavilion for those with disabilities.

The project is supported by a Community Development Block Grant that West Deer recently received.

Bids will be opened on Sept. 13.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.