SHARON Face-to-face meeting sought with bridge firm

Mercer County officials are still awaiting a complete report on the viaduct.
SHARON, Pa. -- Mercer County officials want a face-to-face meeting with the contractor on the Oakland Avenue Viaduct job to clear up any misunderstandings about what information is needed to assess the structure's long-term viability.
Carmen Paliotta Contracting of Library, Pa., was hired in early 2001 to tear down the old bridge spanning the Shenango Valley Freeway and replace it.
The county halted work on the job last November, however, after learning that the steel frame was out of alignment as much as 3 inches.
That didn't mean the bridge would be unsafe but it did raise questions about the span's long-term life, said Mark Miller, county bridge engineer.
Efforts by the county and the state, which put up the $3.6 million for the job, to get detailed results of studies of the bridge have been unsuccessful despite repeated requests for information. The job was to be finished last November but work has yet to resume.
Officials thought they had the final report they needed last month but it turned out to be lacking in specific technical details needed to assess the bridge, Miller said.
The county asked for that additional information and it was to arrive last week but had not been delivered as of Tuesday, Miller said.
He said the county now wants a face-to-face meeting with Paliotta representatives and the company's engineering firm, adding that the county wants that meeting next week.
It's easier to deal with any misunderstandings about what details are needed in a personal meeting rather than by telephone or letter, Miller said.

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