Krewstown Road Bridge Proposals Are Under Study

Posted: September 27, 1989

A restudy of the Krewstown Road Bridge, an alcohol ban and the white-tailed deer overpopulation in Pennypack Park were among the topics discussed at a meeting of the Friends of Pennypack Park last week..

Bill Mifflin, executive director of the Fairmount Park Commission, told the group Thursday that the Streets Department was restudying its position on the Krewstown Bridge. Last fall, the department presented several plans on the bridge to the group, which asked that the bridge be closed and traffic rerouted.

Three plans were proposed - two for building a new bridge and one for renovating the existing bridge. Under one plan, a new bridge would be built slightly west of the current site, eliminating a sharp curve north of the bridge. Krewstown Road would remain as it is.

The other plan for a new bridge would reroute Krewstown Road between the railroad trestle and Algon Road. The new bridge would be east of the old bridge.

City officials have said that the bridge, built in 1800, needs to be replaced because it is narrow and deteriorating, floods easily and is the scene of frequent accidents.

After neighborhood opposition, the Streets Department did not act on any of the proposals. Jack Lutz, the chief design engineer, said Monday that a town meeting would be held to discuss what action would be taken. No date had been set, he said.

"I've suggested abandoning the bridge," Mifflin said to applause Thursday. "They'll take that under consideration."

Mifflin speculated that no action had been taken because of a lack of money.

Mifflin also told the group that he has suggested that the Park Commission consider a ban on alcohol in the 61 parks in the system. The commission has approved a ban in Pennypack Park that will go into effect in 60 days if no one makes a request for a hearing opposing the change.

About 15 or 20 parks already ban alcohol.

"We've experienced a number of phenomena recently," Mifflin said. "The trashing of the park has been on the increase. People have been coming into the park leaving debris behind.

"The Park Commission has taken the first step on the ban (in Pennypack Park)."

Under the ban, alcohol would be permitted by permit only.

Mifflin also said that the white-tailed deer population was out of control in the park, and that allowing an open hunt had been suggested as a measure to reduce the number.

"There is no possiblity of a hunt in Pennypack Park in the foreseeable future, but never say never," he said. "I'm waiting for something to come down from heaven on this one. Something will have to be done, but we're not sure what."

And, he told the group that improvements were scheduled for the picnic areas on Rhawn Street and Pine Road, and that new fencing and paving would be done at Fox Chase Farm. He also said that a study would be done on dams in the park system.

The Friends group presented checks to Mifflin to spruce up the park. Students at Pollock Elementary School raised $300 to buy two trees. One of the trees already has been planted at Verree and Bloomfield Roads by students

from Pollock and Brown Elementary Schools.

The children at Pollock raised money by collecting aluminum cans.

The group presented $1,840 to provide water in two new bathrooms in the park.

"It's difficult to compete with the police, the homeless and drug initiatives at budget time," Mifflin said in accepting the money. "The Parks and Recreation Department takes low priority when the budget is being established. That's a grave error.

"Fairmount Park provides quality of life. The trees won't just grow themselves. It won't be there forever without our help."

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