The monthly meeting of the Holme Circle Civic Association featured some really good news and some not-so-good news.
Thousands of long-suffering motorists should be able to return to Holme Avenue about two months ahead of schedule thanks to a newly accelerated completion date for the Holme Avenue Bridge reconstruction project.
The bridge could reopen before the end of October, HCCA board member Joe Razler told neighbors, citing a recent progress report by the general contractor on the project, Buckley and Company.
Yet, with the hot-button issue soon to be resolved, Razler and other leaders fear that interest in the civic group among neighbors may wane. That’s why they’re trying to come up with new recruiting strategies.
There has been no shortage of interest in the HCCA since Buckley began work on the state-owned bridge early this year. The initial plan was to keep two lanes of the four-lane span open at all times, which would have allowed motorists to pass through the construction zone.
But on June 20, crews closed the bridge entirely and without warning, citing newly discovered structural damage that could have resulted in a collapse. Traffic has been detoured on other high-volume roads since then.
The initial reopening was projected for near the end of December, weather permitting.
“They [now] say by the end of October it will be done,” Razler said. “Both decks have been done and both sides of the bridge. The side walls are on the historic register, so they’ll be cleaned up.”
Meanwhile, Razler added, leaders of the civic group hope that new landscaping on nearby Holme Circle will accompany the bridge re-opening. They envision “Welcome to Holme Circle” signs facing both directions, along with a flagpole and some lighting.
They figure the modifications will help give the neighborhood much-needed identity, kind of like neighboring areas like Winchester Park and Upper Holmesburg have.
“That’s what we’re looking for,” Razler said.
There will be no change in the circle’s traffic pattern.
The civic group leader thinks that neighbors should be interested in the opportunity to beautify their locale and should get involved by attending the monthly Holme Circle Civic Association meetings and joining for a nominal annual fee.
HCCA meetings are on the fourth Wednesday each month. The next one will be on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in the St. Jerome’s School basement. ••
Reporter William Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or firstname.lastname@example.org