Pond Eddy Bridge -- Challenging Its Expansion
Penn DOT is seeking to replace and massively increase the size of the current Pond Eddy bridge between Pike County, Pennsylvania and Sullivan County, New York. The proposed bridge would have a 40-ton weight limit to service a community with less than 12 residents. Estimates on the cost of this bridge replacement vary but are likely to exceed $12 million. The current Pond Eddy Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and should be rehabilitated.
In order to replace the more than 100-year-old bridge, PennDOT has indicated in meetings that the agency will need to build two causeways across the Delaware River impeding the flow of the waterway. This would be a threat to migratory fish such as American Shad. If causeways are built they could block river ice, creating a hazard. The causeways would also require boaters to portage their kayaks and canoes around the structure placing them at risk of injury. Livery owners and other ecotourism businesses could experience a drop in revenue.
PennDOT is trying to avoid having this project undergo a federal environmental review despite this section of the river being part of the country’s Wild and Scenic River system.
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has been conducting regular document requests from government agencies and in April 2016 learned about a significant threat posted to the mussels of the Upper Delaware River. DRN is hoping this threat may post a window throuch which we can secure revisit of the project as a whole which threatens our river and river communities in many ways.
To see the story on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQaJIlCjTYk&feature=youtu.be