May 19, 2012 —
About 50 people gathered at the Pond Eddy Bridge on May 19, to bear witness as members of the Tusten, Highland, Lumberland VFW Post #6427 marched onto the bridge, which is also named All Veterans Bridge, to drop a wreath from the historic structure into the waters of the Upper Delaware River below.
The movement to save the span, which was built in 1904, is gaining momentum, as officials in New York are questioning the wisdom of spending nearly $5 million for a new super-highway-like bridge that will serve only about 12 families on the Pennsylvania side of the river.
One of the rallying cries from those urging to save the bridge is that Pennsylvania officials should do the right thing, and build a road to the tiny, land-locked community, and restore the existing bridge, rather than tearing it down. The residents in the community, and officials in Shohola, PA have been clamoring for a new bridge for years, because the old bridge can’t accommodate large emergency vehicles or large trucks.
A significant environmental and economic concern has to do with blocking the flow of the river. According to Glenn Pontier, member of Friends of the Pond Eddy Bridge who is spear-heading the movement, plans for the replacement bridge call for the construction of a temporary causeway that would block and divert the flow of the river for up to two years, and boaters going downstream would have to leave the river at the causeway and portage around the causeway.
Because of the environmental concern, Catskill Mountainkeeper and the National Resources Defense Council have joined the cause.
Supporters are organizing what they hope will be a much larger rally and floatilla on August 4 , to further awareness of the cause. Go to http://savethebridge.tumblr.com/ .