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December 05, 2016
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A wreath for the Pond Eddy Bridge

Highland supervisor Andy Boyar, center, addresses the crowd.

By Fritz Mayer
May 19, 2012

About 50 people gathered at the Pond Eddy Bridge on May 19, to bear witness as members of the Tusten, Highland, Lumberland VFW Post #6427 marched onto the bridge, which is also named All Veterans Bridge, to drop a wreath from the historic structure into the waters of the Upper Delaware River below.

The movement to save the span, which was built in 1904, is gaining momentum, as officials in New York are questioning the wisdom of spending nearly $5 million for a new super-highway-like bridge that will serve only about 12 families on the Pennsylvania side of the river.

One of the rallying cries from those urging to save the bridge is that Pennsylvania officials should do the right thing, and build a road to the tiny, land-locked community, and restore the existing bridge, rather than tearing it down. The residents in the community, and officials in Shohola, PA have been clamoring for a new bridge for years, because the old bridge can’t accommodate large emergency vehicles or large trucks.

A significant environmental and economic concern has to do with blocking the flow of the river. According to Glenn Pontier, member of Friends of the Pond Eddy Bridge who is spear-heading the movement, plans for the replacement bridge call for the construction of a temporary causeway that would block and divert the flow of the river for up to two years, and boaters going downstream would have to leave the river at the causeway and portage around the causeway.

Because of the environmental concern, Catskill Mountainkeeper and the National Resources Defense Council have joined the cause.

Supporters are organizing what they hope will be a much larger rally and floatilla on August 4 , to further awareness of the cause. Go to http://savethebridge.tumblr.com/.

the bridge WE use on a DAILY BASIS

All, but ALL, of the energy being generated to save the bridge comes from people who enjoy its aesthetic but do not NEED it to get to home. Having lived here (and there are way more than the '12' of us popularly but falsely asserted) for 20+ years, I have followed the bridge saga from an intensely necessary perspective. PennDOT has taken decades to wade through incredible paperwork and interminable studies to see what was feasible for us to have safe passage home.

I was once also in favor of saving the then beautiful bridge. Unfortunate but true, it has now deteriorated to such an extent that PennDOTs assertion that replacement is the viable alternative is an obviously sound one. Studies as to all alternatives have gone on for over two decades. Now that action is finally to happen it seems people who do not live there nor need the bridge would like to go back to square one.

For 20+ years we have had no fire nor other emergency services. Currently we cannot even get winter heating oil delivered and must carry it in the backs of our cars on public roads. Horror accident waiting to happen with a simple rear end collision. This matter is urgent and I pray that the fully considered actions for replacing the bridge move forward before there is a truly dire event that makes everyone regret their delays and quibbles.

Yes, the bridge was cool, I surely thought that when i bought my home way back when. Now it is unsafe and a nightmare. I would wonder who would give up their modern car and ride in a buggy behind a horse because it is 'historical' and 'charming'. I suspect not one of you who is against a new bridge for us. I would not wish any of this on any of you who drive into your driveways, happy to arrive home and never considering what a pleasure and blessing that actually is.