Jun. 18, 2024

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Plan, Prepare and Provide – Detours Ahead

Plan for delays, prepare for detours and provide patience. Summer is here, allowing PennDOT to implement planned improvements of our infrastructure, roadways and bridges to be kept up to code, keeping us all safe, allowing direct routes for workforce transportation and summer vacationers! Then there are accidents. These accidents have consequences for those who may have caused them and those who are impacted by the cleanup and rebuild.

Our main Route 6 in Bradford County, just outside of Troy, has been negatively impacted in an unplanned, preventable truck accident. The iron bridge over Sugar Creek was struck by a hauler, causing major damage and shutting down our major thoroughfare here in Bradford and Tioga counties.

This project will cost between $1 million to $2 million, and projected completion is the end of August.

Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll, along with our District 3 Executive Engineer Eric High, held a press a conference yesterday on location, showing the structural damage and sharing the plan of action for recovery to the bridge within three months or, hopefully, less. Watch coverage of the event here.  

I recognize the unique nature of the project and have been in direct contact with PennDOT, ensuring they knew the importance of getting this open ASAP and offering ways in which I could be of help. I am thankful for the rapid response from PennDOT and the secretary to get us the emergency declaration quickly so we can get to work.

A call to action to our community members: Let’s pull together on this. One way we do that is making sure we are supporting the businesses that are going to be affected by the major detour. Please make it a point to continue supporting them. Additionally, be safe. PLEASE SLOW DOWN and prepare for your trip by adding extra travel time to reach your destination. Our rural roads have speed limits of 40 mph or less for safety of not only the drivers but those living and working along these beautiful country roads. Our farmers are in one of their busiest seasons in planting, growing, and harvesting food for our nation and world. You will most likely come upon slow moving tractors, milk trucks, farm animals, and equipment. Please proceed on the detours with caution. We need to give our rural community love and care by slowing down, planning, preparing and providing. Please note our Bradford County EMS is hard at work ensuring emergency vehicles have the best possible plans to respond to an emergency.

If you are, or if you know, a truck driver, or deal with a transportation company that is looking for a better opportunity off of the small rural roads, it is suggested they take the Berwick Turnpike (Route 4013) to Springfield Road (Route 4014).

Regardless of the road you travel, please take your time, obey the laws, have patience and enjoy the beauty of our countryside as you reach your final destination.
Putting Corporate Responsibility into Action

You’ve seen them on our rural roads and crossing over our tiny bridges – the rather enormous trucks, heavily weighted with all kinds of equipment, to be delivered to a location that will provide natural gas resources to many thousands of customers. The industry promotes jobs and economic development takes a toll on our tiny bridges.

Partly through Pennsylvania’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, Westfield Township, Tioga County, will be replacing the Howland Hill Road Bridge, providing a safer access to farms, homes and gas well operations. In the best community fashion, Seneca Resources has not only placed the best interest of our land and use of natural resources for economic development, but also put into action our community’s best interest as part of their responsibility. Acting upon this guiding principle, Seneca Resources has financially shown its support and care for our community by contributing to the renewing of the Howland Hill Road bridge. I am personally thankful for a corporation that will put its responsibility into action and ultimately develop our community, making the area better than when they first arrived. It is a win when government, companies and communities can work together to prosper the ones who call the region home.

The project shall include, but is not limited to, replacement of the Howland Hill Road Bridge and associated items including drainage, 2A subbase, guide rail, installing/maintaining erosion and sediment control measures, traffic control, seeding and mulching, all necessary incidental work, and site restoration for said construction as set forth in the Project Manual.

Thank you, Seneca Resources, for putting your guiding principles into action.
A ‘Marry’ Milestone

It always encourages my heart to recognize an amazing anniversary of 50 years of marriage between husband and wife. Celebrating the golden anniversary is a beautiful milestone where there has been proven wisdom, truth, compromise, forgiveness, faith and a heart to serve one another above self.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Cheryl Edgcomb on the joyous occasion of your 50th wedding anniversary. The House of Representatives of Pennsylvania is always proud to recognize its citizens whose commitment to the sanctity of marriage and family values contributes to the strength and unity of this great Commonwealth.

When asked what a favorite memory is of over a half century of togetherness, Mrs. Edgcomb gave it a quick thought with a huge smile and replied, “our grandchildren,” some of whom live right next door. Then Mr. Edgcomb responded with a hearty chuckle, “our children, because without them we wouldn’t have our grandchildren.” In front of me stood a beautiful sight of husband and wife of 50 years looking back at all they shared together and they both placed the legacy of family in the forefront. May the Edgcombs have many more years to enjoy the fruit of their love, family. They are pictured here with their son, James Edgcomb, and daughter, Shannon Kemp.
Mansfield Community Celebrates the Joyce M. Tice History Trail

It was wonderful to see how community, local, state, and federal government and a wealth of agencies can come together and implement a community dream that started over 50 years ago. What makes this a “history trail?” To fully answer that question, I encourage you to pack up the family, take a friend or have a date along the Joyce M. Tice History Trail and discover for yourselves. When you enter the trail just off of North Main Street in Mansfield, you will come upon a beautiful sign that highlights the history of the trail’s location. Learn about the mill operation of the New Era Mills, which operated from 1882-1969, previously located where North Main Plaza currently sits.

The Borough of Mansfield hosted a ribbon cutting dedication ceremony for the Joyce M. Tice History Trail last week. Joyce is the founder of the History Center on Main Street in Mansfield.

The 2,300-foot gravel trail runs on top of a culvert that channels Corey Creek through the northern part of the Borough of Mansfield. The culvert was installed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1970s as a flood control measure. Local planning documents indicate that a walking trail was envisioned for the land as early as the 1970s.

Mansfield Borough pursued the necessary funding when funding opportunities opened in 2022. The borough was approved for funding from the following sources:

  •   PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation Partnership Program (C2P2).
  •   PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Local Share Account (LSA).
  •   Additional funds came from the borough’s annual Act 13 appropriation and its sidewalk fund.
  •   Hunt-EAS of Towanda, PA, provided design and engineering services.
  •   H&P Construction of Kulpmont, PA, fulfilled the scope of work, including the trail surface, ADA curb cuts, benches and interpretive signage that highlights the history of the community.
  •   The Army Corps re-graded a slope on the western end of the trail as part of the site preparation.

The trail was substantially completed in the fall of 2023 with the signage installed in May 2024. May all generations enjoy the trail and remember the importance of our history, and how community involvement, connection and service can make a beautiful difference in our small towns.                                     
Groundbreaking of New Penn College Clean Energy Center Training House

Pennsylvania College of Technology received a $2 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to enhance its infrastructure-related academic and workforce development programs. With PCT matching that $2 million, the college has initiatives set on construction of an 1,800-square-foot Clean Energy Center house, providing state-of-the-art training to home-energy professionals. Additionally, the Carol Building Technologies Center and its instruction labs will have an update, improving learning experiences for students enrolled in related programs.

And now it is groundbreaking time. Let the work, building and implementation of this growth begin! It is a fantastic way to develop, strengthen and equip our Pennsylvania workforce! Click here for more information.
Education Funding Plan Lacks Accountability, Hurts Choice Options

The state House narrowly passed an education funding plan this week that falls well short of providing the transformational change needed to boost classroom success for all students.

Introduced in response to last year’s ruling by Commonwealth Court that our education funding system is unconstitutional, the proposal would place a massive burden on taxpayers while providing no accountability and no meaningful measures of success in a system that has received increased funding year after year, but continually produces declining test scores and students unprepared to further their education or begin careers.

House Bill 2370 also does a disservice to students who need alternative educational opportunities by significantly cutting funding to Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools, which currently educate more than 65,000 students in the Commonwealth.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.  
Bill to Require Coverage of Biomarker Testing Passes House

Legislation that would lead to better, more effective treatment of diseases like cancer and ALS passed the state House this week and is now pending consideration by the Senate.

House Bill 1754 would require insurance coverage of biomarker testing by both commercial insurance and government-sponsored plans, subject to federal approval.

Biomarker testing may be used for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment, appropriate
management, or ongoing monitoring of an insured or enrollee’s disease or condition to
guide treatment decisions for the covered person.
Driver License Centers Closed for Juneteenth

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, will be closed Wednesday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.