SHARON, PA. Bridge project faces new delay

The steel supplier wants an independent engineer to determine who's responsible for the bridge problem.
SHARON, Pa. -- Correction of the misalignment in the Oakland Avenue Viaduct faces another delay in a company's bid to pinpoint blame.
The $3.6 million replacement bridge, which spans the Shenango Valley Freeway, was to be completed in November 2001, but Mercer County, which owns it, halted work because the deck was out of alignment as much as 3 inches.
The county ordered the contractor, Carmen Paliotta Contracting of Library, Pa., to come up with a corrective action plan, but it hasn't done so yet.
An engineering firm hired by Paliotta was to present it this week, but the county heard from High Steel Structures Inc. of Lancaster, Pa., instead.
Hasn't been paid
High Steel supplied the structural steel for the job but hasn't been paid, even though Paliotta has been paid for that portion of the work, said Mark Miller, Mercer County bridge engineer.
High Structure is asking the county to join in an effort to fix responsibility for the misalignment by hiring an independent engineering firm to examine the project.
Miller said the county is looking at the proposal but is making no promises. There are some provisions of the arrangement that the county probably won't accept, he said, declining to elaborate.
PennDOT approval
The plan would also have to win the approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which, along with the federal government, is putting up the money for the bridge.
Miller said work on the corrective action will likely be put on hold until the High Structure issue is resolved.

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