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No Clear Answers for Future of Rapps Dam Bridge

On April 29, a tractor trailer driven by a man with only four days on the job slammed into the historic bridge, badly damaging it.

(Patch file photo)
(Patch file photo)
The Rapps Dam Bridge, badly damaged by a tractor trailer in April, remains closed. How long is still an answered question.

The bridge is owned and maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, not East Pikeland Township, so the matter is no longer simply a local one.

PennDOT is working with consultants to determine how best to proceed, East Pikeland Township officials said. There is no timeline for repairs.

On April 29, a tractor trailer driven by a man with only four days on the job slammed into the historic bridge, badly damaging it.

The bridge, which spans French Creek, was built in 1866, and before being damaged by the tractor trailer had recently undergone a $1.5 million restoration.

The driver of the tractor trailer, Antoine Branham, will be charged with a felony count of criminal mischief; causing or risking a catastrophe; and various traffic violations, East Pikeland Township Police said.
harryfinster May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM
small town big charges ,the local yocals dont have any thing better to do
Kevin May 30, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Although there maybe a lot of charges, just like in budgets, some will get pruned off in court. Although initially this was an accident, once he hit the bridge he should have stopped plain and simple. It is obvious that he didn't and for whatever reason kept going. This lack of concern or reasoning malfunction is a problem and he should not be behind the wheel of another large vehicle until that is resolved. As far as the "causing or risking a catastrophe" charge is concerned, initially he could have collapsed the bridge, a "catastrophic" failure if I do say so myself. On-going, emergency vehicles now have to spend extra time detouring around the bridge which can worsen the emergency into a "catastrophe".
Recchi May 30, 2014 at 02:54 PM
That's awful. The kid obviously made a mistake. Felony charges? He probably was scared to death that the bridge would collapse if he stopped and maybe didn't know the depth of the water. Clearly he was unfamiliar with the area. Give the kid a freaking break!
Jeff Robins May 30, 2014 at 03:57 PM
This will be locked up with the insurance companies for the rest of the year, possibly into 2015. Don't expect this to be repaired till the end of 2015, maybe 2016.
Cindy Cooney Trampel May 30, 2014 at 08:40 PM
Felony charges ridiculous! I have always said the signage for that bridge height was hung to late you were already commited!

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