This week, Lancaster Watchdog checks on a county-owned bridge that has been closed for repairs for nearly a year, and checks back on AMVETS Post 19, which has been closed for nearly five months.

Eden Road Bridge

It’s been nearly a year since the closing of the county-owned bridge that connects Eden Road in Manheim Township with Millcross Road in East Lampeter. The bridge, over the Conestoga River, closed to traffic last July 5 for reconstruction.

Since then, many drivers have instead crossed the Conestoga on the bridge carrying New Holland Pike (Route 23) over the river farther north.

“This project seems to be taking an extraordinarily long time,” one reader wrote of the closed bridge.

While it feels that way, is it actually taking longer than expected?

Yes and no.

The project to reconstruct the 228-foot-long bridge wasn’t originally expected to be completed until this July, but it won’t hit that target.

“Now, we’re looking at early October,” said Charlie Douts, the county’s facilities manager.

He said elevated water levels from heavy rainfall last year delayed work on the bridge and a bit of the same issue is happening this year.

Even earlier last week, Douts said, rainfall delayed a concrete pour because water levels were too high on the Conestoga.

Costs have not been affected by the delay, Douts said. Watchdog previously reported the cost at $3.8 million, with the work contracted to J.D. Eckman, of Atglen.

‘Moving ahead’ at AMVETS Post 19

Following turmoil earlier this year, members of AMVETS Post 19 in Lancaster city made recent administrative changes in hopes of steadying its recent misfortunes.

More than 65 members held a reorganization meeting June 13 at AMVETS Post 136 in Ephrata at the direction of AMVETS state department leaders.

“Our water was shut off three weeks ago,” newly elected AMVETS Post 19 Commander Roy Ashmore told Watchdog last week. “(We) just got it back.”

Ashmore has replaced Dave Ream, who several members blamed for the mismanagement and closure of Lancaster city chapter of the veterans organization in February.

Along with the administrative reorganization, members voted to ratify a contract between Post 19 and a creditor to mortgage the Fairview Avenue facility and to manage operations, Ashmore said. That includes using software to keep inventory and hold individuals accountable, he said.

With the approved contract, Ashmore said, Post 19 will begin repaying its debts, which have been reported as high as $350,000, and will seek to regain its liquor license.

“We’re moving ahead,” he said.

The creditor did not respond to a request for comment last week.

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