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Hopewell Bridge project sees new end date

EVERETT— Concerns about the Hopewell Bridge project were a topic of discussion during a PennDOT outreach meeting in Snake Spring Township on Wednesday.

The project, which went to bid in November 2017, has seen its share of problems since that time.

The next phase, which addresses reconfiguring the intersection of routes 26 and 915 and rock cut with slope stabilization, is not expected to utilize the 12-mile Pinchot Road detour that was in place for much of 2018.

Broad Top Township Supervisor Don Hedge Jr. raised concern that many motorists have been frustrated with lengthy delays at the construction site.

Hedge said he understands why the delays are necessary, but also understands the frustration of waiting sometimes up to a half an hour and not seeing any activity.

Thomas Helsel, an engineer with PennDOT, said that oftentimes there is activity going on along the hillside that cannot be seen from the road.

Thomas Prestash, District 9 executive, said that while he, too, has been frustrated driving through the work zone, the waits are necessary for safety.

“When they blast, they want to wait a certain period of time in case something would break, and we’ve had a close accident there,” he said referring to an incident where rock from the hillside fell onto a vehicle.

Last August, PennDOT lifted a 12-mile detour, only to reinstate it after one day because of concerns about the stability of the hillside. The detour has since been lifted.

Saundra Thomas, who was at the meeting representing Hopewell Borough, questioned PennDOT officials about why the completion date is now slated for July 2020 instead of the end of 2019.

Prestash said the issues arose when blasting set construction behind and over budget. While Prestash was unable to provide an original figure, previous Gazette stories show the project being contracted at $11 million. The project is now estimated to cost $11.5 million.

Hedge also raised concerns about headaches arising from multiple projects in the same area. Pinchot Road, which was used as a detour for the bridge project last year and can be used to bypass the bridge work zone, is also slated for repairs this season.

The detour for the Ravers Run Culvert Replacement will go over Route 26 and near to where the turn is at Riddlesburg and down to Hopewell.

Prestash told Hedge and Thomas that they would look into the concerns they and other residents had in the area and agreed to meet with public officials regularly throughout construction to keep them informed.

Ridge to perform 42nd Street

Students from Chestnut Ridge High School are set to perform “42nd Street” Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Chestnut Ridge Middle School.

The production will take place on March 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and March 24 at 2:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Tickets for the show are reserved seating and can be purchased for a cost of $3 for students and $10 for adults. Advance tickets can be purchased through the high school office.

The iconic musical takes place in the 1930s and follows the story of revered Broadway director Julian Marsh, portrayed by Dustin Morgan, who falls on hard times.

To put him back on top, he decides to team with writer Maggie Jones, played by Hope Kaufman, and Bert Barry (Angel Snyder) to put on one final production before his retirement.

His lead actress, Dorothy Brock (Fiona Knoster), is torn between two loves — the show’s backer, Abner Dillon (Alexander Rizzo), and the earnest but penniless actor Pat Denning (Isaac Sims) — while aspiring young performer Peggy Sawyer (Elyse Barnes) waits in the wings, coaxed along by one of Broadway’s better juveniles, Billy Lawler (Brady Blackburn).

The cast includes:

Dorothy Brock, Fiona Knoster, Peggy Sawyer, Elyse Barnes, Maggie Jones, Hope Kaufman; Ann Reilly (Anytime Annie), Megan Kaufman; Phyllis Dale, Kendall Ahmad, Lorraine Flemming, Sarah Webb, Diane Lorimer, Sarah Diehl, Ethel, Emmy Stiles; Julian Marsh, Dustin Morgan, Bert Barry, Angel Snyder, Billy Lawlor, Brady Blackburn, Andy Lee, Alexa Smith, Oscar, Macy Walason, Mac, Ally Neatrour, Pat Denning, Isaac Sims, Abner Dillon, Alex Rizzo, Frankie, and Ian Melius.

Hannah Davis plays the Doctor, and Angel Vehonsky, the Waiter.

Millie is portrayed by Elli Leister; Winnie by Tehya Dibert; Willard, Stage Crew Cameo; Robin, Miranda Horn; and two Policemen, Carter Sims and Nicholas Rizzo;

Pickpocket/Thief will be played by Olivia Dodson.

The ensemble includes Emmy Stiles, Angel Vehonsky, Isaac Sims, Elyse Barnes, Dustin Morgan, Fiona Knoster, Miranda Horn, Allyson Neatrour, Hope Kaufman, Megan Kaufman, Brady Blackburn, Sarah Diehl, Hannah Davis, Sarah Webb, Kendyll Ahmad, Angel Snyder, Alex Rizzo, Alexa Smith, Jadyn Beltz, Kaitlyn Ickes, Tehya Dibert, Olivia Dodson, Alexis Allison, Marta Malinowska, Carter Sims, Nicholas Rizzo, Macy Walason, Ian Melius and Elli Leister

Stage Crew includes Lindy Barefoot, Isabel Boyer, Maggie Bruening, Jaden Calhoun and Devin Swope.

Student Choreographer: Alexa Smith is the student choreographer and Isaac Sims is in charge of Student Scenic, Set, and Prop Designs

The produduction is directed by Lauren Zeznanski with Debbie Price as assistant director and Dan Drumm as music director.

Additional production crew includes: choreographer, Kari Schofield; costumer, Samantha Diehl; stage manager, Stephanie Curry; set construction, Eric Zeznanski and graphic designer, Shane Lynn.

Commissioner candidate withdraws

A candidate for the Democratic nomination for Bedford County commissioner abandoned his campaign after an Alum Bank man challenged his nominating petition.

Troy Risbon of Everett, who has run as Republican and Democrat, withdrew his petition after Jeff Lesak of Alum Bank challenged 11 signatures among the 106 Risbon turned into the Bedford County Board of Elections.

A candidate must have at least 100 valid signatures of registered voters from the party whose nomination he or she is seeking.

Risbon declined to comment on the matter, saying, “I’m done with politics.” He also told the reporter to “Leave me alone.”

Lesak’s signature is among those on the nominating petition, filed in the prothonotary’s office, that were challenged. Lesak said he “Struck name prior to filing.”

Lesak’s challenge includes objections such as “Ditto marks for residence and date” beside the name. Electors are required to provide name, address and date of signing.

Some, the petition claimed, were not registered Democrats. One is a registered Republican, according to Lesak’s complaint, and at least a couple didn’t list their correct address. One person didn’t use the name as listed on the voter registration records.

Had the challenge gone forward, a time would have been set for a judge to hear the complaint in court.

Any challenges to nominating petitions were to be filed by March 19, said Deb Brown, elections director. The court would have had to hear the case by March 22 and make a ruling by March 26 so the county may prepare a ballot for the May 21 primary.

No other challenges were filed and no other candidates withdrew, Brown said.

In a March 12 candidates’ evening sponsored by Bedford Business and Professional Women, two members of the audience asked Risbon why he had changed party affiliation. Risbon said he wanted to run to help people, regardless of party.

A message left on Lesak’s voicemail wasn’t immediately returned.

Risbon’s withdrawal leaves the Democratic ballot with one candidate, Deb Baughman of Saxton. She didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

Top of the Morning

Hydrants will be flushed in the Bedford area.

Weather permitting, the Bedford Township Municipal Authority will flush the water distribution system along Sweet Root Roard, Back Springs Road and topsiders area March 26, and March 27, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Customers may experience cloudy water and a slight pressure fluctuation while the authority flushes the fire hydrants. The authority asks motorists to be aware of its employees and vehicles while they perform the system maintenance in the areas.

The lieutenant governor will visit Bedford County next week.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will be at the American Legion Hall on Wednesday rom 6 to 7:30 p.m. The hall is located at 3721 Business 220, Bedford. The visit will be a stop on his statewide “Listening Tour” to hear feedback about the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Local officials and victims’ advocates will address “How Bedford County Responds to Sexual Assault” next month.

The event will be held 1:30 to 3 p.m. April 10 at the Bedford County courthouse in the commissioners meeting room. Speakers will include Cathy Jamison, victims advocate for Your Safe Haven; Bedford County District Attorney Lesley Childers-Potts; Beth Hickey, executive director of Your Safe Haven; and Lisa Cairo, administrator of Bedford County Children and Youth. Anyone who wants to attend is asked to RSVP by April 8 by email at or by calling 623-7664.

The Schellsburg Hometown Hero Banner Program’s new application deadline is April 9.

Applications are available at Shawnee Market, Subway, the post office in Schellsburg and other places in the surrounding area. They are also available by contacting or by calling 935-6178. The banners may honor military, nonmilitary and first responders. Visit the Facebook page Schellsburg History & Current Events for more information. New banners will be hung in May and remain there until May 2020, at which time they will be returned to the person sponsoring the banner. There will be another Schellsburg Salute to honor these new heroes where friends, family or, if you prefer to not address the gathering, a historical society member will be happy to pay tribute to your loved one. New members are welcomed to join. Visit

PennDOT discusses upcoming county projects

EVERETT — During its annual outreach meeting with local municipalities held in Snake Spring Township Wednesday, PennDOT discussed upcoming construction projects.

The work includes a $3.6 million resurfacing project for Route 30 in Breezewood that is expected to start soon and last through the summer.

In that same area, daylight lane closures will be required on Interstate 70 from Town Hill to the Pennsylvania Turnpike ramps for installation of cable median barriers starting in April. That $2 million project also is expected to last through the summer.

— A bridge replacement is planned for a tributary to the Juniata River Bridge along Route 2029 in East Providence Township. The project includes a total bridge replacement. Construction will take place between June and September and is contracted to Cottle’s Asphalt Maintenance Inc. at a contract price of $670,403. A 10.8-mile detour will be in place during the construction.

—A culvert replacement will take place along Route 1019 at Ravers Run in Liberty Township. It’s set to start June 11 and conclude Aug. 16. The construction is contracted to New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co. Inc. at a cost of $742,966.

—The Defiance-Six Mile Run Bridge will be replaced. The projected will be completed utilizing phased construction and will use Six Mile Run Road as a detour. The construction will take place between April and November. Wen-Brooke Contracting Inc. is set to do the work at $1.6 million.

—The South Cemetery Bridge in South Woodbury Township will be replaced between June 24 and Aug. 14. The project is contracted to Cottle’s Asphalt Maintenance Inc. at $1.1 million. There is a 9.5-mile detour that goes the length of the project and goes in the area of Churchview Road over Beaver Creek.

—A bridge rehabilitation will take place at Street Road over Flintstone Creek in Southampton Township. The construction will take place between March and November and will cost about $1.5 million as a part of a grouped contract for eight non-composite deck replacements contracted to George S. Hann and Son. The 4.6-mile detour is expected to take a maximum of seven weeks and will go through Allegany County, Maryland.

—Rehabilitation of Grasser Road Bridge in Juniata Township is set to begin in July and continue through October 2019. The project is a part of the grouped Hann contract for eight non-composite deck replacements.

—Rehabilitation of Barnes Road Bridge, Mann Township, is set to begin in June and continue through August. The project is part of the eight non-composite deck replacements. The project includes an 8.7-mile detour that goes through Allegany County, Maryland but is not expected to impact school bus routes.

—Moss Road Bridge in Mann Township is expected to begin to be rehabilitated in March and construction is to last until November. The project is part of the eight non-composite deck replacements by Hann. The 4.2 mile detour is throughout the length of the project and is not expected to impact school bus routes.

— Rose Road Bridge rehabilitation is slated to begin in July and continue through October. The Juniata Township project is contracted to George S. Hann and Son Inc. at $1.5 million as a part of the eight non-composite deck replacements. The 2.4-mile detour is expected to last a maximum of seven weeks.

—Rehabilitation of the Reed Road Bridge in West St. Clair Township is expected to begin in March and continue through November. The project is part of a grouped contract for eight non-composite deck replacements. The 4.7-mile detour is expected to last a maximum of seven weeks.

—Construction to replace four culverts on Route 36 and Route 26 in Hopewell Township is set to begin in March and continue through July 2020. During the time of construction, temporary roadways will be placed. The project was contracted to New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co., Inc. at $4 million.

— A superstructure replacement of Pipers Run Bridge in Hopewell Township will take place between June and August. The project is contracted to Wen-Brooke Contracting Inc. at $270,447.

—Resurfacing, guide rail and drainage upgrades will take place along Route 30 in Breezewood in an area of 3.6 miles beginning in March and continuing through September. Daylight flagging will take place during the construction. The project is contracted to Cottles Asphalt and Maintenance Inc. at $3.6 million.

—Daylight lane closures will take place along Interstate 70 from Town Hill to the Pennsylvania Turnpike ramps for installation of cable median barriers. Construction is set to begin in April and continue through September. The project is contracted to Cottle’s Asphalt Maintenance Inc. at $2 million.

Maps of the detours are available on PennDOT’s website under regional offices, District 9, transportation outreach.