Cross Street to be closed in June

Singer: Bridge needs to be redone, no traffic will pass through

Sentinel photo by JANE MORT
Street signs of Cross and Cedar streets are paired together at the intersection of the two streets in Mifflintown Borough.

MIFFLINTOWN — Starting June 5, access to Cross Street in Mifflintown Borough, will become limited.

Mifflintown Borough Council President Edward Singer told The Sentinel in a phone interview that Cross Street will be closed for safety and bridge maintenance.

“The bridge needs to be torn down and rebuilt,” Singer said.

Singer said once the road is closed, it will remain closed until the borough has the funds to fix the bridge.

At this time, it is unclear if the entire road will be closed or just the portion where the bridge is located.

The bridge portion of the road is located over Schweyer Run near where Cross Street meets Cedar Street.

Cross Street is an access point for several Juniata County offices, including the Mifflintown Borough building. Other offices including the county assistance office and Juniata County Library are located on side streets that can only be accessed by Cross Street.

Vince Giordano, director of the Juniata County Library, said he was informed Tuesday about the road closure through a letter.

“The letter itself was very vague,” he said. “It was dated Monday.”

He said after he received the letter, he began to investigate.

“I spoke with Polly Digion and she said there were people out doing estimates on what it would cost to fix the bridge,” Giordano said.

He said he understands that bridges cost money to maintain and repair, but he is concerned as to what would happen if the bridge and road is closed long term. Giordano said not only could it be bad for the library, as far as people accessing the location, but also for the students that access the road.

“According to the letter the library received, it will be closed to all foot and vehicle traffic,” Giordano read from the letter. “This could mean longer, more dangerous walks for students.”

Currently, Giordano said students will cut across from Juniata High School and Tuscarora Junior High School to avoid walking on the busy main street. He is concerned that this closure could become a safety issue for the students and other walkers.

“While it will limit their access to the library, there is more to it than that,” he said.

Giordano did say the closure was discussed at the May 1 council meeting, but no detailed information was provided.

According to information available on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s website, Cross Street has no construction plans posted for the next several years.