Benton Twp. looking to save ‘Baylor’s Bridge’

By Brittney Pierce Abington Journal Correspondent

June 10, 2014

Benton Township representative, Joyce Hatala, reported major plans in the works for a bridge near Baylor’s Lake in Benton during the June 5 Abington Council of Governors (ACOG) meeting. It was the last meeting before breaking for July and August.

“Baylor’s Bridge” as it is known by area residents has suffered damage over the years from not requiring a weight limit on the one-lane stretch of road.

“It is a beautiful arched stone bridge,” Hatala said. “We can date it back to at least 1840, we were so afraid it was going to be torn down.”

After hearing the news of potential demolition of the bridge, Hatala formed a committee to restore Baylor’s Bridge.

“It is going to be bid in early 2015. This is one of the oldest bridges not only in Lackawanna County but in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” she said. “It’s truly incredible [and] magnificent.”

Located on Farnham Road, the bridge is also considered the “Gateway to the Endless Mountains.”

Clarks Green resident, Rick Williams, argued the likelihood of saving the bridge.

“I can’t imagine state engineers would let them build a bridge like that,” he said. “They might do a faux stone.”

Hatala assured the ACOG that the bridge is to be restored and preserved.

Grant funding will allow the ACOG to pursue a few new projects in the fall such as equipment sharing between municipalities.

ACOG secretary Marnie O’Dea Palmer feels Clarks Summit is in need of is street sweepers.

“That’s a piece of equipment that everybody seems to need, maybe Newton or Ransom might not do that with the kind of roads they have but Dalton has a downtown and we have downtown Clarks Summit and South Abington,” she said.

Which municipality will house the equipment and whose responsibility it will be if any equipment breaks are issues the ACOG will look to address in the future, but O’Dea Palmer is optimistic on moving forward.

“There might be other pieces of equipment we could do, I just feel we need to do something,” she said.

O’Dea Palmer will take over as ACOG president when meetings resume on Sept. 4.