Yesterday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission was out on Butler Pike to take a look at the railroad bridge that cross over Butler Pike in the portion that is currently closed due to sinkholes.
As MoreThanTheCurve.com has reported, Norfolk Southern considers the bridge safe for use.
Below is the text of a Facebook post from Sydelle Zove (via the Plymouth Meeting Abolition Hall Facebook page). She is a community activist leading the fight against development on the Abolition Hall property. She has also been monitoring issues along the Butler Pike corridor where the property is located.
The important point is that the bridge continues to be deemed safe. The second important point is that some dangerous things are being transported via train through the area and there isn’t any room for error.
Here is the post:
SINKHOLES on Butler Pike: Today, the PA Public Utility Commission convened an on-site investigative meeting to assess the integrity of the Norfolk Southern RR bridge over the closed Butler Pike. This bridge continues to carry freight traffic. For now, the bridge is safe, however new sinkholes continue to open, such as the one pictured here (and there are seven sinkholes in the fields behind Abolition Hall). Norfolk Southern confirmed that trains could be hauling flammable, explosive, toxic, or even radioactive freight. Montgomery County officials are inspecting the roadway regularly, and the RR is doing likewise with the bridge and tracks. Let’s hope that more sinkholes (caused by ever-increasing stormwater runoff) do not undermine the stone structure, which was constructed in 1914. We’re still facing a two-year detour. The source of the problem, however, is the overwhelming runoff from new development. That’s the “triggering mechanism,” and it can only be addressed by Plymouth and Whitemarsh Townships. Township Manager Rick Mellor says he’ll “take it under advisement.”