DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s no secret that Pennsylvania has a reputation for aging bridges that are not in great shape. However, things have seriously improved, especially in the Midstate.

Approximately one third of bridges in Dauphin County were deemed “structurally deficient” 40 years ago.

“Obviously it’s a public safety issue,” said Dauphin County Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III.

As of October 2022, all 52 of the bridges owned by Dauphin County are in “good” or “fair” condition.

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“This has been a true team effort,” said Mike Pries, Dauphin County Commissioner.

Dauphin County Commissioners say the “Local Bridge Bundle Program,” which allowed multiple projects to happen simultaneously, is partially responsible for the improved bridges.

“That’s [The Local Bridge Bundle Program] enabled us to do projects we weren’t able to do before. More projects because we’re bundling them together now. Like bridges, we’ll do three or four bridges at the same time which saves us money, makes the project more efficient. We have other counties coming here to study how we do the infrastructure bank so they can duplicate it back home,” said Dauphin County Commissioner Chad Saylor (R).

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Now the focus is on bridges less than 20 feet long in local municipalities.

“The first part of the program is to identify all these small bridges. Sometimes it is just a ditch that runs under the roadway or a pipe, but if it collapses because it is not maintained, the road is useless. Some municipalities are learning they have small bridges they didn’t even know about,” Saylor added.

Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R – Dauphin County) spoke about the universal need for bridges and safe roadways. “There is no partisan politics. We know what we need to get done and we are getting it done right now,” he said.

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There are 68 municipal bridges in Dauphin County, 11 of which are currently labeled as “poor” condition. The county plans to help repair three of them in 2023.