The Reading Metropolitan Planning Organization was notified Thursday that its proposal to repair the structurally deficient bridge had been approved by the state Department of Transportation’s Road Maintenance and Preservation program, or RoadMaP.
The funding covers most of the estimated $2.1 million cost to repair the bridge in Douglass Township, which is a critical crossing for residents who would face a lengthy detour if the bridge had to be closed, officials said.
RoadMaP funding is made available for partnerships between metropolitan and regional planning organizations for bridge projects.
Pennsylvania has 6,536 locally owned bridges, of which 2,008, or 30.7 percent, are structurally deficient.
Counties are eligible for up to $2 million for repair of local bridges in the RoadMaP program if they pass a resolution to collect $5 vehicle registration fees and commit to a 50 percent local match.
Berks will use the money it collected in fees to replace the 60-year-old Ebling Memorial Bridge in Muhlenberg Township, at a cost of $1.8 million.
The county also will contribute $100,000 in fee revenues toward preliminary engineering of the Glendale Bridge.
“While we have made great strides in improving state bridges, our local bridges have continued to deteriorate,” said Alan Piper, Berks County’s senior transportation planner and secretary of the Reading Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“The $5 registration fee and the additional funds made available through PennDOT’s RoadMaP program represent a significant increase in our ability to accelerate rebuilding these local bridges and maintaining access in our communities.”