The Armstrong pedestrian bridge that once spanned the Dillerville rail yard near Harrisburg Avenue in Lancaster will not be part of a trail near Conestoga Pines Park after all.
Lancaster officials had planned to install the metal bridge parallel to an existing bridge by the city’s water treatment plant on the Conestoga River near the park.
But the Armstrong bridge would have accounted for nearly one-fifth of the project budget of $1.4 million. And because it’s so narrow, cyclists would have had to use the other bridge anyway.
“It just didn’t make sense,” Patrick Hopkins, director of administrative services, told City Council on Monday.
Not using the bridge shaves about $250,000 off the cost, he said.
The revised plan calls for rehabbing and repainting the existing concrete bridge and adapting it for pedestrians and cyclists.
From it, a trail will run past the water plant and northeast through the park. The hope is to finish all phases of the work and open the bridge next summer, Hopkins said.
In the long run, the trail would connect with other trails and become part of the Greater Lancaster Heritage Pathway, an ambitious multimunicipal project that would run from Lancaster’s west suburbs into the northeast part of the county.
The city will look for other opportunities to use the Armstrong bridge, perhaps elsewhere on the trail, Hopkins said.
For decades, Armstrong plant workers used the bridge to cross the rail yard to their jobs.
It was taken down in 2015 as part of the city’s northwest gateway redevelopment and is being stored on city property.