— Rep. Wendy Fink (R-Red Lion) convened a hearing of the House Republican Policy Committee Thursday in Chanceford Township to discuss a 107-year-old bridge in her district, as well as the broad community impact of PennDOT projects.
The Lucky Road bridge is in Fink’s Legislative District and has been out of service since a flood damaged its foundation in 2019.
Approximately 50 homes are served by the bridge, including many local Amish farmers who rely on it to transport equipment. The closure of the bridge has also significantly impacted critical EMS response times and Red Lion School District bus routes.
“The Lucky Road bridge may be a small, rural bridge, but it’s just as important to Chanceford Township residents as any major bridge in the Commonwealth,” said Fink. “We had excellent attendance from the community who have fiercely advocated for its repair.
“I hope our community is encouraged by the result of their advocacy; PennDOT has committed to using discretionary funding to move up the bridge repair project two years. Construction will start in 2025. This hearing ultimately happened because of my constituents who continually advocated for the bridge.”
“No matter if you are heading to work or traveling for leisure, transportation infrastructure is one of the most crucial components of a functioning society,” said Rep. Joshua D. Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. “Our district offices have received numerous calls regarding road-related issues, and maintaining an open dialogue with PennDOT will ensure the concerns from residents and businesses are addressed. I would like to thank Rep. Wendy Fink and the testifiers for holding this hearing on this important issue and how we can drive the Commonwealth forward.”
Testifiers included Kent Heffner, Chanceford Township supervisor; Laura Taylor, chief of Southern York County EMS; Tammy Gemmill and Gay Barbour, residents of Lucky Road; Richard Reisinger, assistant district executive for design in PennDOT District 8; and Richard Runyen, director of PennDOT bridge bureau.
The local perspectives panel of constituent testifiers stressed the closure of the Lucky Road bridge has had a significant impact on their daily lives with detours to their homes taking about 10 extra minutes. They also have major concerns about the length of the detour when considering delays to critical first response efforts.
PennDOT’s panel of testifiers explained the data-driven methods the agency uses to prioritize infrastructure projects in the Commonwealth, remarking there is a complex balancing act in play when it comes to funding, project planning, emergency declarations, engineering and regulatory review.
“Rural communities across the Commonwealth deal with these types of road and bridge issues, and the Lucky Road bridge is just one example,” Fink added. “It’s time to give rural communities a seat at the table and allow their voices to be heard. Rural communities comprise so much of Pennsylvania’s population and geography. We need to prioritize them and the people who live there.”
Fink stressed the need for continued communication between her district and PennDOT. By working together, she believes they can continue to improve the community for future generations.
Questions about this hearing and other state-related issues can be directed to Fink’s office at 717-244-9232.
To watch the full hearing, click the video box below.
Representative Wendy Fink
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Katelin Morrison
RepWendyFink.com / Facebook.com/RepWendyFink