The following comments were made by Councilor Rhoads on August 3rd, at the Committee of the Whole Meeting during the Pottstown Borough Council’s discussion about the Keim Street Bridge situation. There is debate about whether Council should stop pushing PennDOT to replace the Keim Street Bridge and seek other alternative solutions that are cheaper and have a better chance of being approved.
What I would like to see, with all the studies and tons of money that has been spent over the years on studies, studies, studies, is the county (Montgomery) send a survey out to all the people in the area who have been using the bridge. I have heard a lot of complaints since the bridge was closed. A lot of people want to see it open.
That bridge was there a long time. I believe before I was born. The Keim Street Bridge is the in middle of both of these improvements (the Stowe and Armand Hammer Blvd interchanges) and for this revitalization that has been talked about for probably over 25 years, Bethlehem Steel* is there, if that does ever go. That access in and out of town in important. As far as I am concerned, it is there and to take that bridge away I think would do us harm. There is a lot of traffic that goes up and down Keim Street. That is an important road. *The former Bethlehem Steel site is now the Pottstown Industrial Complex.
Hanover Street (the interchange) has no entrance to westbound 422. That is a deficiency. If there were some changes there, I know there are houses right there in South Pottstown. At least if there was an entrance to 422 westbound there, that would help somewhat.
You are talking about improvements at either end of Industrial Highway, but there is nothing in the middle. I think this is important. Keim Street does have, it is all there, (the ability) to go west as it is now. You could go over it (Keim Street Bridge) and go west.
Others do not live here, we do. Once the bridge is gone, it is not coming back, I will guarantee you that. If it is in the background hanging in limbo, that chance is in the future, who knows what the future brings.
Once it is gone, you know how that works….