NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– The bridge crossing McClure Run near Westminster’s Fieldhouse will open Sept. 20 after the $625,000 renovation project wraps up.
Physical Plant Director Ron Pennington says it was cheaper to replace the structure rather than repairing it every year. Issues with the bridge include:
- A hole through one of the edge beams.
- The centerline beam was detaching.
- Major cracks where the bridge connected to the road.
Pennington says they also wanted to improve pedestrian safety. Students, staff, and visitors had to walk on the road surface without sidewalks or crosswalks. All of these factors led the College to replace the bridge.
Westminster College planned to start construction after commencement. But the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection came to check McClure Run for any endangered animals. The DEP found a species of fish
called the hornyhead chub living in the creek. It is similar to a minnow and is an endangered species in Pennsylvania.
These fish are sometimes hard to see because they are usually mistaken for creek chubs. The two fish are very similar. The only differences being the hornyhead having a smaller mouth, a dark base on its dorsal fin, and a different scale pattern. The DEP called for a delay on the plans so the hornyhead chub could finish its mating season, forcing construction to wait until August.
Summary of the 2018 McClure Run Bridge Project:
- A completely new bridge.
- The new structure is wider by twelve inches.
- New sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Lights installed to illuminate the bridge at night.