Removal of the precarious Coxton Railroad Bridge over the Susquehanna River is set to begin Tuesday, a Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority announcement said.
The authority agreed to take back ownership of the long-abandoned span in February at the urging of the state Department of Environmental Protection, which had exhausted legal options to force LAG Wrecking, of Duryea, to address concerns the bridge would collapse and cause flooding by acting as a dam.
LAG had purchased the bridge between Exeter and Duryea boroughs from the authority for $500 in 2007 but never carried out its plans to demolish the bridge and sell the steel for scrap.
The authority has received $1 million in state disaster recovery funding to remove the bridge. Authority board members hired Saxonburg-based Advantage Blasting and Demolition in August to complete the project for $796,600.
According to Monday’s announcement:
The company will begin on the Exeter side and has constructed a temporary road, known as a causeway, to access the bridge.
The bridge consists of six steel truss spans on piers.
Four spans on the Exeter side will be removed first, followed by the piers.
The causeway will then be relocated to the Duryea side to allow contractors to repeat the process removing the remaining two spans and piers.
The project is expected to take approximately one month.
Letters were sent to residents who live near the bridge informing them of the project, although no special precautions are required.
The contractor will establish and man an off-limits safety zone before the removal begins, and local police have been notified.
Residents with questions were directed to contact project manager James Brozena at (570) 299-5837 or [email protected]