The Duke Street bridge near Hummelstown, the last remaining structurally deficient bridge owned by Dauphin County, has been replaced.
County officials on Wednesday opened a new bridge, which is between Hummelstown and South Hanover Township, after more than a year of construction. The replacement bridge, one of 51 county-owned bridges, cost $3.8 million.
The original bridge over the Swatara Creek was built in 1910.
While many areas have struggled with crumbling roads and bridges, Dauphin County says it has kept up with repairs because of a longstanding capital improvement program.
Knowing Duke Street was the last bridge they needed to replace, Dauphin County commissioners in 2013 created a county infrastructure bank, the first of its kind in the state.
The infrastructure bank was set up using funds from the county’s annual allocation of funds from the state’s gas tax. The allocation is based on a municipality’s population and miles of locally owned roads.
The county used about $1 million in liquid fuels money in 2013 to start up the infrastructure bank, which is a low-interest revolving loan program. Municipalities or private companies apply for program loans, which can be used only for transportation-related projects. As recipients repay the loans, the money is returned to the bank to be used for future projects.
The county seed money leveraged access to up to $30 million in state money from PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank.
The state bank provides loans to municipalities, transportation authorities, economic development agencies, nonprofits and private companies for transportation projects.
Current county infrastructure bank projects include a $4.8 million stormwater upgrade along North Sixth Street in Susquehanna Township.