TURBOTVILLE — A footbridge which has been heavily used by student athletes for more than two decades will soon be replaced as part of the efforts of a Warrior Run High School junior to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Alyssa Hoffman said her Girl Scout Gold Award Project to replace a footbridge crossing Warrior Run Creek will be completed by next summer, at the latest. She hopes the project is finished prior to the start of the fall cross country season. The timetable for completion hinges on the length of time it takes for various restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic to be lifted.

The bridge is on property owned by the school district and is part of the school’s cross country course.

Hoffman is a member of both the cross country team and Girl Scout Troop 61121 of Watsontown. She joined Girl Scouts in first grade.

“I enjoy the variety of what we get to do,” Hoffman said. “As we get older, we can be more independent.”

She particularly enjoys going to Girl Scout camps in the summer.

“It’s fun to help the little children (at camp),” Hoffman said.

In order to progress to working on a Girl Scout Gold Award Project, Hoffman said a Journey and Silver Award must first be earned.

For her Girl Scout Silver Award, Hoffman completed a roadside cleanup. Her Journey was earned by participating in a troop project.

Working to replace the footbridge in order to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award was a perfect fit for Hoffman.

“I run cross country,” she said. “We always run across this bridge. It’s annoying to run across in races. You have to go single file.”

With the bridge’s paint badly chipped, and boards starting to rot, Hoffman said it is overdue for replacement.

Her father Kip Hoffman, a Warrior Run High School teacher, said the bridge was moved to its present location from a nearby spot in the late 1990s. It has not been worked on since.

Alyssa’s mother Tamara Hoffman, the vice president of the Warrior Run School District school board, said the bridge sustained some damage by flooding two or three years ago.

To replace the bridge, Tamara said the school board has committed $19,000 to the project.

Alyssa said the bridge will be replaced by the flatbed from a trailer truck, a donation secured by school board President Doug Whitmoyer. Material from the current bridge will be recycled.

To start the project, Alyssa first had to apply to Girl Scouts.

“They gave me the go ahead to start,” Alyssa said, adding that she then started working with the school board on the project.

She has been working closely with Mid-Penn Engineering, which is handling the design work for the project.

“I was able to help with the permitting,” Alyssa said. “It’s really interesting what goes into a project like this.”

She will soon be submitting a required permit for the project to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Alyssa is seeking donations to assist with the project, including concrete for bridge footers, as well as decking and railing to be placed across the flatbed once it is put in place. She is working on securing the donation of a crane to set the flatbed in place.

Volunteers will be able to assist with some of the work once the flatbed is set into place.

Anyone interested in donating to the project can email alyssahoffman03@gmail.com.

“I’ve been very thankful,” Alyssa said. “Throughout this whole project, there are many people who have been willing to help.”

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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