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Narberth Avenue Bridge Reopens

The span was repaired for about $300,000, ahead of its demolition and reconstruction set for the near future.

The Narberth Avenue bridge has reopened to traffic after a 4 1/2-month closure and a roughly $300,000 repair project, officials announced Tuesday.

PennDOT ordered the bridge closed in late August after an inspection turned up unsafe deterioration in parts of the support structure—the second failed inspection and closure in a year.

Borough officials voted 5-2 to repair the bridge, with the dissenting voters (and some residents) arguing that the money would be unwisely spent since the bridge is set to be torn down and rebuilt. That project could begin as soon as early 2014, but many local business owners voiced support of the repairs, saying customer traffic was hurt by the closure.

What effect will the reopening of the Narberth Avenue bridge have on the downtown business district? Do you think the $300,000 commitment was worth it? Please tell us in the comments section below.

Richard Weisgrau January 22, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Personally, I think the Borough officials made the correct decision in repairing the bridge even though it will be torn down and built anew in 2014. The closure of that bridge put a lot of extra stress on the Wynnewood Ave. intersection where the need for a traffic light is now being debated. Hopefully, by the time the bridge is closed for replacement the traffic light will be in place. I do feel for the local businesses who suffer from the bridge closures. Easy customer access is important to running a successful business. When the bridge is closed for replacement it will be the third time in 2 to 3 years that businesses have suffered from it. Perhaps they should get some kind of relief for the loss of sales. I am not sure, but one thing I am sure of is that Narberth's success is due in a substantial part to its businesses that help fuel its economy.
TonyD January 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM
I live on the Merion side of Narberth. The bridge closure was a strong disincentive to drive into the business district whenever I had to buy something that required carrying in a car. I TOTALLY support the decision to repair the bridge, and I'm pleased that the bridge has reopened.
Michael Alexander January 23, 2013 at 02:40 PM
My sense is that the bridge closing hurt Merion residents and businesses more than it hurt Narberth, although you can't deny the impact to South Side Narberth residents. Even with the bridge closed Haverford Ave has continued to be packed with cars and shoppers during peak periods. Though I'm sure some businesses have felt an impact, I wonder how strong that impact was. I'm glad the bridge has been reopened but I do think the money could have been better spent in other ways, or better not spent at all. I'm glad it did not require raising taxes, but wish we could have lowered taxes instead.
Cyndy Gilman January 23, 2013 at 08:40 PM
EXCELLENT decision to repair the bridge. Narberth was divided in half and business district was really suffering. IF bridge hadn't been repaired Narberth would already have become a ghost town by 2014 (or 2015, or 2016?) whenever the bridge ends up being rebuilt. Good decision, timely work - kudos.

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