History of 3rd Street Bridge/Dam

Feb 20, 2012 by

The history of the 3rd Street Bridge/Dam project is complicated. In order to give some context for those interested in the project, we developed this timeline.  This is not an exhaustive history, but rather a timeline of major developments since the dam was first built.

 

History Timeline of the Third Street Bridge/Dam Project

Prepared by the Friends of Glen Providence Park
1883: John M. Broomall, the owner of a large tract of land on the western edge of Media, built a dam across Broomall’s Run, a small tributary of  Ridley Creek. Broomall built the dam for the purpose of harvesting and selling ice. The dam formed Broomall’s Lake.  A roadway was created over the dam.

1935: Glen Providence Park was established as the first park in Delaware County, with land donated by the Butler family, and small parcels donated by the Media Swimming and Rowing Club (name later changed to Broomall’s Lake Country Club) and one other land owner.  25 acres were originally donated, then eight more a few years later.  The northern border of Glen Providence Park is the 3rd Street Bridge/Dam.

1979/80: The Army Corps of Engineers found the dam “seriously inadequate” and recommended quick action.  No action was taken due to disagreements between Media Borough, Delaware County, and Broomall’s Lake Country Club about responsibility for repair.

1996: The road over the Third Street dam/bridge was closed by Media Borough out of safety concerns related to erosion on the southern side of the roadway.

1998: Schnabel Engineering Company was retained by Borough Council to evaluate various rehabilitation alternatives.

1999: Borough Council secured funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Local Bridge Program to cover 80% of the cost of repairing the dam and establishing an automobile roadway. Local matching funds were required to cover the other 20% of the project’s cost.

May, 2011: Borough Council signed a three-party stipulation agreement with Delaware County and Broomall’s Lake Country Club (BLCC), indicating that the Borough had responsibility for funding and managing the repair of the dam, and BLCC and the County would share the long-term responsibility and the costs of future maintenance.  Ownership was not determined by the legal stipulation.

June 2011: The proposed design of the dam/roadway was revealed to public for the first time, indicating that 1.1 acres of park would be impacted by the construction project.

August 3, 2011: Media Borough Council held a special public meeting in the Borough Council chambers to inform the public about the design and impact of the proposed 3rd Street Project. John Harrison, Schnabel Engineering (dam design); Quentin Rissler, Larson, Design Group (roadway and bridge design); Richard Reisinger, PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Dam Safety; and Sidney New, Gannett Fleming (PennDOT’s project manager), made presentations to the public.

Borough Council President Pete Alyanakian opened the meeting by introducing Pennsylvania Senator Dominic Pillegi. Senator Pillegi announced that Media would receive a $650,000 grant in Pennsylvania Redevelopment Capital Assistance Funding to cover the local match for the project. Mr. Alyanakian noted that between this grant and the PennDOT funding, construction of the project would be 100% funded.

October 13, 2011: In order to address the concerns of the Friends of Glen Providence Park (FrOG) about the impact of the project on the Park’s natural environment and recreational use, Media Borough Council held a special public meeting in the Borough Council chambers. At the meeting, FrOG members presented a petition with over 500 signatures from residents of Media and another 300 signatures from surrounding communities. The petition called on Borough Council to minimize the environmental impact to the Park and also to establish a pedestrian-bicycle greenway, with access to emergency automotive vehicles only. FrOG members also requested that Borough Council form a Third Street Project Citizens Advisory Committee.


November 4, 2011: Representatives from Media Borough Council and the engineering firms contracted to repair the Third Street dam held a meeting with PennDOT representatives in the District 6 PennDOT office. The following persons were present: Tim Stevenson, PennDOT Design Portfolio Manager; Sidney New, Gannett Fleming (PennDOT project manager); Peter Alyanakian, Borough Council President; Monika Rehoric, Borough Council Vice-President; Peter Williamson, Councilman; Jeff Smith, Borough Manager; Robert Johnston, Gilmore Associates (Borough Engineer); Quentin Rissler, Larson Design Group; and John Harrison, Schnabel Engineering. Mr. Stevenson of PennDOT clarified that PennDOT funding from the Local Bridge Program would pay for repair or removal of the dam. Stevenson also stated that funding did not require the establishment of an automobile roadway and could be applied to a pedestrian-bicycle greenway. Mr. Stevenson emphasized that any proposed course of action must be explained within a final Purpose and Need Statement for the project to be submitted by the Borough.

January 19, 2012: Media Borough Council unanimously approved the establishment of a Third Street Project Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to solicit public input, study relevant information, and present an advisory report to Borough Council by April 1, 2012. The CAC was established as an ad hoc, time-limited advisory body. Council charged the CAC with reporting on public opinion and its own conclusions regarding four options: 1) Repair the dam and establish an automobile roadway; 2) Repair the dam and establish a pedestrian-bicycle greenway, 3) Remove the dam and build a bridge with an automobile roadway; and 4) Remove the dam and do not build a bridge or roadway. Note: The option for removing the dam and building a bridge (greenway) for pedestrian-bicycle transportation was raised at the initial CAC meeting with Council members – clarity on that option is being sought.

May 17, 2012: Media Borough Council votes (5-2) to move forward with dam replacement in accordance with the stipulation.

 

There are hundreds of pages of documents about the 3rd Street Bridge/Dam Project on the Borough website.  For an overview of what is contained in those documents, read our Guide to the Bridge/Dam Documents.

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