Etna council president Peter Ramage announced Tuesday that the Dewey Street bridge is slated for demolition in December.
Dilapidated and crumbling, it is slated to be replaced with a new bridge. Manager Mary Ellen Ramage said a contractor soon will install an orange netting to block pedestrians from crossing the 40-foot bridge, which spans Pine Creek.
She said pedestrians have been ignoring signs warning that the dangerous structure, which is closed, is not to be crossed. The netting will block both sides of the span.
A low bid of $501,637 was opened in March for the project.
The bridge was built in 1981.
The project has been delayed because of funding issues and the closure of the Greeley Avenue bridge. The borough had to rehabilitate that bridge because it will serve as the detour route while the Dewey Street bridge is repaired.
In other road news, drivers and pedestrians will face ongoing road paving on 18 streets in the borough.
Among the streets scheduled for resurfacing are Washington, Parker, Freeport, Jones, Clark and Lincoln streets. El Grande Industries of Monessen will perform the work, which will continue until the weather ends the paving season.
Work not finished will be done in the spring, said Ms. Ramage.
In related news, PennDOT will pave and improve drainage on Bridge Street. Mr. Ramage said it is hoped the work will be done this year. The Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone will contribute $100,000 for the project with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation paying the balance.
In other action, council unanimously approved making an $87,282 minimum municipal obligation payment as Etna's 2014 share of its police pension plan contributions. The plan is approximately 95 percent funded, according to Ms. Ramage.
Several council members urged residents to take greater advantage of Etna's recycling rewards program.
Operated by the borough's garbage hauling contractor, Waste Management, the reward structure provides deals in neighborhood businesses in exchange for reporting the amount of recycling a household produces.
Mr. Ramage cited growing difficulty finding affordable landfill space as a major reason for improving recycling participation. He noted that just 15 percent of Etna households are participating.
Etna police chief Bill Grover continues to recover from a late-summer stroke, according to Ms. Ramage.
Mayor Thomas Rengers praised officer Tim Rodman for the work he has done since filling in since August as acting police chief.
Residents are reminded that the final summer concert will feature Nied's Hotel at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Pine Street playground. The concert is free. Visitors should bring blankets or chairs. Playground seating is limited.
Tim Tuinstra, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.