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Next stop NYC,

Berlin vs. beavers

BEACH LAKE, PA — Two prospects emerged in recent correspondence received by Berlin Township: a rail link between Wayne/Pike Counties and New Jersey Transit and Amtrak networks; and bridge failure/flooding caused by beavers.

Supervisor Cathy Hunt read aloud at the October 15 Berlin Township Board of Supervisors meeting portions of a letter to the board from Tom Myles, operator of the Stourbridge Railroad, dated October 5. In it, Myles invited supervisors or their designee to attend an October 23 private rail excursion from Honesdale to Lackawaxen and back. The train will depart from the Wayne County Visitors Center at 1 p.m. and return to Honesdale at 4:30 p.m.

While en route, the possibility of promoting a potential rail infrastructure and service connection between northeastern PA and the New York metro area will be discussed at length. The potential impact and implications of that project on the economy and culture of communities in the area will be explored. Information packets will be provided to attendees.

Although, during the meeting, none of the supervisors committed to attend the excursion, their comments after the meeting indicated concern about the possibility of negative impacts from a rail link with New York City. Interested officials are asked to reserve a seat by contacting Myles at 570/470-2697.

In other correspondence, a September 28 email to Hunt from Peter Moran, a structural engineer with STV Incorporated, called the Adams Pond Road bridge over Williams Pond Inlet a “priority-one” maintenance item requiring a plan of action within seven days and repair/removal completed within six months.

The problem is a beaver dam that has water backed up to within inches of bridge height. If the water level reaches the bridge deck from a stream already swollen by heavy rains, it will force immediate closure of the bridge and could trap drivers attempting to cross it, or even sweep vehicles off it. Roadmasters Rob Mahon and Charlie Gries discussed the logistics of using heavy equipment to remove the dam while working in water up to 15 feet deep in spots.

It’s not the first time beavers have dammed a Berlin stream. And it’s not the first time Berlin roadmasters have removed a beaver dam threatening a road or bridge. But this time the water level, and the stakes, are higher. And the problem will be fixed only when the PA Fish and Game Commission or another wildlife authority finds out if trapping and relocating the beavers is a viable option.

 

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