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Reading Bridges work group wins Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence

May 10, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Ronald J. Young Jr.

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In early April, Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin recognized municipalities and local government officials for their dedication and commitment to strengthen their communities and better serve their residents.

Nine communities and 10 individuals from across the commonwealth were recognized for excellent service as part of the 23rd Annual Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence.

RELATED: PennDOT replaces Herr Street Bridge in 10 days

One of the recipients is the Reading Bridges Workgroup, being honored in the Innovative Community and Governmental Initiatives category.

The Reading Bridges work group was created as a public-private partnership between the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, the Berks County commissioners, the City of Reading, the borough of West Reading, PennDOT's District 5, and several local businesses.

The workgroup brought together a diverse group of partners to discuss current and future priority road and bridge projects in the greater Reading area. The partnership kept Reading vibrant during construction of two major bridge projects — the Buttonwood Street Bridge and the Penn Street Bridge. It identified issues, evaluated opportunities, and developed a communication strategy to disseminate information through the website. The group facilitated special meetings with local business owners and residents to discuss detour routes and alternatives to driving.

The group plans to continue and expand their efforts, forming the West Shore Bypass Working Group to communicate efforts related to the upcoming US 422 West Shore Bypass reconstruction project.

PennDOT has shared the success of the Reading Bridges Partnership as an example for the statewide PennDOT Connects initiative, showcasing ways to foster better collaboration with communities on transportation projects.

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