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Public Information » E-Newsletter » E-Newsletter Dec 09

New Era, New Span --- Bridge Commission's E-Newsletter --- December 2009


Burlington County Bridge Commission Wins $10.9 Million Insurance Claim

Bridge Piers to be Repaired with Proceeds

The Burlington County Bridge Commission has won a $10.9 million reimbursement claim against Lloyd’s of London for damages to the fenders surrounding piers of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge.

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Commission Solicitor Carmen Saginario Jr. of Capehart & Scatchard reported to the Commissioners that final settlement documents with Lloyd’s of London have been exchanged and that payment is expected this week, ending a nearly three-year litigation in which the Commission sought reimbursement under its insurance policy with Lloyd’s.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of this dispute and the vigorous representation of the Commission by our legal team,” said Chairman John Comegno. Saginario briefed the Commission at its December 8 meeting and noted that the dispute with Lloyd’s began in February 2003 when the triangular fender nosing at Pier E, which protects the bridge pier, was observed missing during a severe ice flow on the river. At that time, at the direction of the Bridge Commission, divers located the fender on the river bottom approximately 100 feet from its original location, the Commission made a claim with Lloyd’s, and constructed a temporary fender around the pier.

After nearly four years of negotiations to settle the claim, Lloyd’s sued the Commission in February 2007 seeking a declaration that an original up-front payment of $1.5 million by Lloyd’s was the limit of its coverage. After rounds of court appearances, depositions, and other discovery were conducted by Saginario and Anthony Drollas of Capehart & Scatchard, an order of partial summary judgment was entered in the Superior Court in the Commission’s favor.

"The judge’s decision in our favor validated the Commission’s position all along that it was entitled to reimbursement for the damages suffered in 2003,” added Saginario.

"Having testified myself in this case, I know firsthand how complex the legal and engineering issues were,” said Vice Chairperson Priscilla B. Anderson. “Capehart’s lawyers and our engineers at Pennoni brought the expertise and skill that made this recovery a reality.”

“The Commission’s plans to use these funds to replace the fenders as part of its capital program is just another example of the Commission’s aggressive bridge safety and maintenance initiatives and its putting people to work,” said Commissioner Troy E. Singleton.

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of approximately $14 million dollars and more than $9 million dollars in grant monies for municipalities.

Bridge Commission Touted as Case Study

The Burlington County Bridge Commission's move to upgrade its financial, purchasing, and personnel software is the subject of a new case study by Edmunds and Associates, Inc. The BCBC's successful implementation of the new software prompted Edmunds to prepare its case study, which is available on their website.

Palmyra Cove Nature Park

Don't Miss First-Ever Frost & Feathers Ball to Benefit PCNP

Mark your calendar for Palmyra Cove's Frost and Feathers Ball, February 6, 2010. Benefitting the Palmyra Cove Environmental Education Foundation, the ball includes dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. It's not to be missed!

To be added to the invitation list or for more information, call 856-829-1900, ext. 264.

New Winter Rent-A-Hike at Palmyra Cove

What's a "rent-a-hike"? It's a hike at Palmyra Cove Nature Park tailored just for you! The Winter Rent-a-Hike program is available to adults weekdays between 8 AM and 3 PM, now through March. Seven different individual hikes are offered; hikes are usually 2 hours and are free to Palmyra Cove Nature Park members and $8 for non-members.

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Call or email (856-829-1900 x 263, esanderson@bcbridges.org

  • Advanced Orienteering – use a compass and map to locate markers dispersed throughout the park (allow 3 hours; Orienteering a prerequisite).

  • Animals in Winter – Observe evidence of how animals adapt to winter conditions.

  • Beaver Pond Hike – Enjoy the park as we hike to Beaver Pond to observe the latest beaver activity.

  • Daytime Owl Prowl – look for clues and possible sightings of owls that frequently inhabit the Cove.

  • Orienteering – learn to interpret and use a map as you navigate throughout our park (prerequisite for advanced orienteering).

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