Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Commissioners Approve Roof Greening, Bridge Repair Funding

In a rather uneventful meeting, Wednesday, the County Commissioners approved the expenditure of funds on two infrastructure projects.

The first involves repair to two of the County's bridges: the Auction Road Concrete Arch Bridge in Rapho and Penn Townships near the Manheim Auto Auction, and the Weavers Mill Bridge in Caenarvon Township.

The Weavers Mill Bridge had been temporarily repaired after being struck by a tractor trailer last year, said Acting County Engineer Keith Harner.

The cost of repairing the Weavers Mill bridge is $74,500, which is being covered completely by insurance, Harner said.

The replacement of the Auction Road bridge is costing $965,854.50, which comes out of "Liquid Fuels Funds" from the State.

The Commissioners also approved state funding for "roof greening" experiments, including $46,000 dollars to two organizations for consulting services, and $94,976 to the National Novelty Brush Company, whose new building at 505 East Fulton Street will feature green roofs.

Roof greening is the practice of covering the roof or exterior of a building with plant life so as to increase energy efficiency and reduce storm runoff.

Senior County Environmental Planner Mary Gattis said that green roofs "reduce the urban heat island effect," by absorbing solar radiation rather than re-radiating it as hard surfaces do, allowing buildings to stay cooler in the summer.

She also said that green roofs"capture the runoff of 90% of storm events," absorbing as much as "1.8 million gallons a year."