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Bridge collapse leaves residents stranded

A bridge collapse in Lycoming County has made it almost impossible for residents on Carpenter's Lane near Muncy to leave their neighborhood.

LYCOMING COUNTY, Pa. — On Monday evening, a bridge on Carpenter's Lane in Muncy Township collapsed. The recent storms and flooding caused the bridge to break off into the water below.

"I got a phone call when I was at a meeting 15 minutes away, and they said, 'You better come back because the bridge is gone.' I got home and found the bridge to be cantilevered into the stream," said Tom Schaech, Muncy Township supervisor and a resident of Carpenter's Lane.

People in eight homes use that bridge to enter and exit their street. It is the only access point in and out.

"Two are elderly and are both widows. They live in individual homes, obviously. One is homebound and has special medical needs, and we were at the point, and are still to this minute at the point, where we can't get an ambulance or engine back in there should we have a requirement for emergency services," said Schaech.

Skyler Cochran lives on Carpenter's Lane with his pregnant wife. He tells Newswatch 16 that they don't have a way to get to the hospital.

"She is about nine months pregnant and could be due any day. We don't have a way to get emergency vehicles down here right now, so with no emergency vehicles, we are having a hard time figuring out how we are going to get her there," said Cochran.

Residents of Carpenter's Lane have been using a makeshift dirt road to get to and from their houses. With all the rain this past week, it has become pretty muddy, and many people have already gotten their cars stuck.

Now, Cochran and other residents are using four-wheelers and tractors to navigate the muddy conditions.

"We are just using the four-wheeler and seeing what we can do with it, and once the four-wheeler gets stuck, we will not have any access to get anywhere until we get a bridge up," said Cochran.

Carpenter's Lane is a private road and is not maintained by Muncy Township. Each resident living there will have to pay $2,500 out of pocket for a new bridge to be built.

"The eight residents will equally split the cost of the replacement of that bridge and any ancillary cleanup and so forth," said Schaech.

Work on the new bridge is set to begin this weekend, and the hope is to have it finished and ready to drive over by no later than Monday of next week.

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