The community group dedicated to saving the McBride Viaduct has announced they are not filing an injunction against the city.
As plans to demolish the McBride Viaduct continue, voices of opposition grow louder. One Erie traveler says, “I’ve walked the only pathway that they’ve suggested or laid out and it’s not a safe one”.
But, Rick Fillipi says, “This was a decision made really–with all due respect–made by engineers, I think.”
Thursday morning, Erie Connect Plus Respect’s Attorney and Former Erie Mayor Rick Fillipi announced that an injunction to seek a public hearing on the demolition of the McBride Viaduct has been delayed after a recent meeting with PennDOT and city and state officials. Fillipi tells us, “The injunction is a tool of last resort. And ultimately, an injunction is not going to prevent the bridge from being demolished.”
That meeting organized Wednesday by PennDOT District Executive Bill Petit allowing both sides to present their positions on the future of the bridge. “You’ve got to think more creatively and innovatively, and think that this could be potentially a great asset,” says Fillipi.
Erie CPR President Adam Trott says the city is concerned about maintenance costs, but he says there is a solution. “…we have $1.7 million right out the gate that can move from demolition into restore to maintain the service its given today.”
He also says grants could become available with the support of the city. “Then, that $1.7 million can be leveraged for matching to 3.4 [million dollars]. Our repair budget’s only $3 million.”
Erie County Councilman Andre Horton says the bridge serves a purpose for the East Avenue corridor and residents need to be heard. “…I don’t know if the bridge should be torn down or not, but it’s at least worthy of having a discussion with the public, and we owe it to the residents.”