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Fight Continues to Keep Bridge in Ashley

ASHLEY, Pa. — People in Luzerne County are fighting to save a bridge that they say is part of their neighborhood’s identity. Although the vote at Mo...

ASHLEY, Pa. -- People in Luzerne County are fighting to save a bridge that they say is part of their neighborhood's identity.

Although the vote at Monday night's council meeting did not go in favor of keeping the old railroad bridge, supporters tell us the fight isn't over. They still have an opportunity to save it.

For weeks, residents in Ashley have been working to preserve an old railroad bridge that sits above Culvert Street in the borough. The property is owned by the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority and at Monday night's council meeting, a majority of the council members didn't vote to keep it.

"When the people found out after the vote that it wasn't in their favor, there were several people very upset," said Don Kane.

Jennifer Heller says the outcome of the vote is devastating.

"I haven't had the heart to tell my children that they have to tear it down because I don't want to see their faces," said Heller.

Residents who attended the meeting say one of the issues brought up was access to the neighborhood by emergency vehicles.

"Being able to get specific safety equipment back here, and if the ladder truck did, for some reason, get jammed, then they wouldn't be able to get anything else in here," Kane said.

But Heller says that's a problem that already has a solution.

"We've had people donate property to make another access road back here," Heller explained.

Although the majority of the borough council members voted for demolition, supporters of the culvert met with the redevelopment authority to get another 30 days to fight for it.

"We're devastated that the council could not see eye to eye, that they could not see what the residents want," Heller said.

Heller says she and other supporters of the bridge will work directly with the redevelopment authority to try and save this piece of history in Luzerne County.

Heller tells us the redevelopment authority is going to send a team out to check the soundness of the structure and give her 30 days to get letters from new council members in favor of saving the bridge before anything happens to it.