NORTH MIDDELTON TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY—The construction is already underway, as workers close down the Route 34 bridge in North Middleton Township, Cumberland County. This is a familiar spot for the Vice-President. He was here in February pushing for an economic stimulus plan. Now, he will be back, showing everyone the stimulus plan in action.
It's like deja-vu all over again. This is the Vice-President taking a look at Pennsylvania's underbelly four months ago. He was here to tout the benefits of an economic stimulus package that had not yet been passed.
"Roughly how many bridges in the state you have like this? Six thousand. Six thousand in this shape," said the Vice-President Joe Biden during his February 11 visit.
Today, the VP will be back. This time however, to highlight the reason the underbelly is getting a facelift. The example, the Route 34 bridge over the Conodoguinet Creek in North Middleton Township, Cumberland County. It's a 192 foot bridge that is in disrepair.
"The bridge is to narrow, it has a bad deck, it's deficient , the deck, the concrete is crumbling on the deck," said Scott Christie from PennDOT during the February 11 tour.
But now that bridge is being replaced. The cost, $1.7 million. All of those funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus package. And this is just a small piece of the puzzle. The bigger picture, the Governor and the Vice-President saying it will provide more jobs and eventually some hope in our struggling economy.
"We need help in employing Pennsylvanians. We need help in getting orders flowing again to Pennsylvania manufacturers steel, concrete, asphalt, timber and the like," said Governor Ed Rendell during the Feb. 11 tour.
"It's about people out there who played by the rules done almost everything right are being swamped by an economy that is there and is nothing much they can do about it," Biden said.
The event is set to start here at 10:45 this morning. As for the bridge, it will be closed starting today until late November. The entire project is expected to be complete by the end of 2010. It is expected to affect some 5,000 cars a day.