Recent bridge closure could be an omen of things to come

Icedale Road BridgeRecently, the Icedale Road Bridge in West Brandywine was closed indefinitely due to its deteriorating condition.

For about 100 West Brandywine and Honey Brook residents, the closure means access to Route 322, the main road in the area, is restricted to an intersection that is prone to flooding.

And while most in West Brandywine agree they want the bridge safe and reopened, township officials said finding the money to fix or replace it is proving difficult, if not impossible.

“We don’t have the money to fix it,” said Thomas Eells, director of public works. “We don’t have the money to replace it. We’re coming out of real tough economic times, and we don’t have the funds for that.”

West Brandywine isn’t the only township struggling to find the funding to fix or replace failing bridges.

County spokesperson Rebecca Brain said Chester County has eight current active design projects for bridges and has pending construction projects on five bridges.

“The Chester County Bridge Program is very active, and until the shortage of transportation funding about five years ago we were programming approximately two bridges a year for rehabilitation or replacement,” said Brain.

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