Start hoping for a mild winter. That was the advice of the Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors last week when discussions of the Arcola Bridge project were added as part of the end-of-meeting announcements.

“The Arcola Bridge Replacement is moving on track,” reported Chairwoman Colleen Eckman. “The bids were awarded, the county has approved the bids, and we should see shovels in the ground by mid-October.”

Eckman said that the date of Oct. 9 was given to the township as a possible start for the actual construction work. The bid was awarded to Allan A. Meyers, Inc. and was unanimously approved by the county’s commissioners on Sept. 4.

Sign Up for E-News

“This critical milestone was reached through a comprehensive coordinated effort of Montgomery County, PennDOT, State Rep. Mike Vereb, State Sen. John Rafferty, Lower Providence Township and Upper Providence Township,” read an announcement posted the county’s website. “Further reports will be issued as the construction proceeds.”

As it stands, LP supers were told to expect around 18 months for the full construction project to be completed.

“Everyone’s hope is that it will not take that long, but weather and other things come into play,” said Eckman.

“The bid even came in under budget, which is even better news,” reported Eckman. The Meyers’ contract was set at $5.3 million, and the budget originally set aside $6 million.

Though some thought bonuses were awarded for quicker work, Eckman said that the project’s contract states it must be completed in 18 months or “penalties start to incur” after that.

LP Vice Chairman Jason Sorgini said he hoped the winter would be better than our last.

“Fingers crossed for a mild winter,” he said.

Eckman agreed, and not just for a quick bridge project.

“For our snow plow budget, salt and shoveling … I hope it is not another like last year,” she said.

Those members of the public agreed. Tom Borai, a former supervisors and current member of the zoning hearing board, said that as a resident in the area of the bridge, he is grateful for the speedy process.

“Once it is started, our neighborhood will be sane once again,” he said during the courtesy of the floor. “Pinetown Road can come back to life.”