NBC10 Investigation: Closed Bridges in Parkesburg Cost First Responders Precious Time During Emergencies

Closed bridges in Chester County
Image via NBC10.
East Bridge Street in Parkesburg has been closed for repairs for nearly 30 years.

Closed bridges in Parkesburg could prove fatal, as the detours they cause cost first responders precious minutes in speeding to emergencies, writes Mitch Blacher for NBC10.

“For somebody who’s waiting on the fire department or an ambulance to arrive, a minute means a lot,” said Keystone Valley Fire Chief Brian Gathercole.

Of the municipalities in the five-county region, only Parkesburg has two vital bridges closed.

The bridges on East Bridge Street and West Bridge Street closed nearly three decades ago, when state engineers declared them unsafe for traffic.

Since then, first responders have had to go around to reach residents on the other side of the divide.

“We have been actively campaigning for at least one of these two (bridges) to be resurrected,” said Parkesburg Mayor John Hagan.

The two structures are among 592 bridges in Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties tagged “poor condition” by PennDOT.

Now, Hagan is hoping that federal funds for infrastructure will jumpstart repairs.

President Joe Biden’s federal spending proposal allots resources for the repair of 10,000 smaller bridges that provide critical linkages for communities.

Watch the segment on NBC10.

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