WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Many roads and bridges in our area are in need of significant and costly repairs.

Residents, officials, and first responders voiced their concerns during a Luzerne County Council meeting.

A plea from a packed crowd at a Luzerne County Council meeting Tuesday night.

Chief Mark Boncal of the Nanticoke City Fire Department is sounding the alarm about the state of the Nanticoke/West Nanticoke Bridge.

“Other local emergency responders, as well as myself, have identified this as a critical public safety issue,” said Chief Boncal.

The bridge was built in 1919 and connects Nanticoke to West Nanticoke over the Susquehanna River.

Its weight limit was reduced to 15 tons in 2020 after issues came to light during an inspection.

“Once that weight restriction starts lessening, that’s gonna result in extended response times and I think that’s not fair to the residents over in Plymouth Township,” said Chief Boncal.

Nanticoke City Fire Department provides fire and EMS services to the West Nanticoke section of Plymouth Township.

Chief Boncal’s concerns are echoed by other community members.

“Public safety is first and foremost in our request here tonight, not only for the City of Nanticoke but for the surrounding areas,” said Nanticoke City Manager Donna Wall.

“Imagine if you had to wait 8-9 more minutes while your loved one was laying on the floor for an ambulance,” said Warren Faust of Wilkes-Barre Township.

Community members are asking County Council to use money from the Casino Gambling Infrastructure fund to replace the Nanticoke/West Nanticoke Bridge.