Wilson Hill Repairs to Affect Commuters
Wilson Hill Repairs to Affect Commuters
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch, Thursday, October 6, 2016
Hundreds of southern Pike County residents who rely on Wilson Hill Road in Delaware Township for their work commute and for shopping trips will be detoured onto a different route when Penn Dot repairs 152 feet of the road in 2018.
Although motorists should be able to get to the township municipal building farther west on the roadway during the construction, part of the road, which is state Route 2002, would be shut down for work on a “slide remediation”. The project calls for restoring the roadway and building retaining walls ranging from 5 to 20 feet high to head off any steep slope runoff that eroded the roadbed.
It means the material under the roadway is moving very slowly toward the downhill side of the slope, which has led to cracking in the roadway pavement and necessitating additional asphalt paving to maintain the roadway surface and constructing the repairs proposed under this project. Daniel R. Giles, a highway manager for HDR Engineering in Mechanicsburg, discussed the project during a presentation at a Delaware Township Board of Supervisors workshop last week. He included two white board engineering conceptual designs for the design build project.
Giles said his company’s designs cover 50 percent of the project. The contractor who get the job will complete the design work.
Giles anticipates the project will go out to bid by PennDot next year and construction will begin sometime in 2018. He said the work is expected to take four to six months to complete. Traffic during the time will be detoured onto Silver Lake Road, an inconvenience that Board of Supervisors Jeff Scheetz said should add only five minutes to the drive. Supervisors said residents can also take other adjacent roads, including take Mary Stuart Road to Johnny Bee Road or Chestnut Ridge Road, both connecting Route 2001 to Route 209.
“You’re aware a lot commuters take this road,” resident Jane Neufeld said emphatically.
Residents asked if Giles was noting comments made by residents during the 45-minute session and he said they were and he welcomed any emailed comments sent to him.
The work involves a 152-foot stretch of roadway located 4/10 of a mile west of Route 209 and 2 ½ miles below Milford Road/State Route 2001 in the lower downhill section. The roadway in that area shows signs of buckling and some damaged roadside metal barriers. The work could extend to 165 feet.
Giles said the eastbound side of that stretch of roadway would need to be rebuilt in some areas and the westbound side would need milling off and putting an inch and half of pavement on the other side of the road “so it will have a cleaner design when it’s done.”
Giles said his office and PennDot had a “positive meeting” with officials of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as the 33-foot right of way – 16 ½ fee on either side – extends onto the National Park Service parkland in that area. Giles pointed out that there are no environmental features that involve studies for the NPS. He said there also are no utility lines in that area.
“It’s pretty straightforward,” Giles said of the project. “They’ll have to work out an agreement (on the right of way). It will not significantly change the National Park Service property and usage of that road.”
George Beodeker, township fire company chief and Pike County Emergency Management assistant coordinator, asked what efforts might be undertaken to ensure stabilizing the road.
“I know from the readings we took, no (further) movement (of earth) is showing up from that slide,” Giles answered.
Ed Hammond, township assistant road master, asked if a weight limit for vehicles would need to be enforced when work is complete, but Giles said he was not aware that the National Park Service or PennDot feels a need for it.
One resident asked if the project would allow for shoulders on either side, but Giles said that was doubtful. Road master Charley Kroener said afterward that it would not be wise to install a shoulder there because the rest of the roadway does not have one and it could pose a problem for anyone who may skid off the repaired part of the road onto the shoulder during bad weather conditions and continue to the older part of the road that does not have shoulder.
“I think it would’ve been better if a PennDot representative was also sent,” Kroener said of the presentation.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Kroener also said that delivery was scheduled for Monday this week for the new playground materials for Akenac Park, which should take four to five weeks to build. Scheetz also spoke about residents’ concern over what appeared to be stalled progress of the Route 739 retail project.
“You know what we know. It’s moving along slowly,” Scheetz said.
“We’re working very diligently to get it going and we’re trying to get it to move along,” said township Solicitor Thomas Farley.
Scheetz read an email communication that township administrator Krista Predmore had with developer Joe Hudak on the subject. In the September 19 email, Hudak responded that the project had been delayed for three months awaiting Dingman Township’s resolution for a traffic light, rather than the originally proposed turnabout, for Route 739 and Log Tavern Road to ease anticipated traffic issues for that area tied in with the retail project. Hudak also said he is expecting to receive permit approvals “over the next two or three months. I would think there will be some activity following that.” He said he expects a Highway Occupancy Permit approval being reviewed by PennDot “in two weeks.”
Hudak said he also is waiting for response from the state department of environmental protection on the Part II Water Quality Permit for the sewage. “The design of the domestic water supply system is about 95 % complete,” Hudak wrote.
The board approved Lori McCrory as a part-time permit assistant. The board approved the resignation of Francine Byrne from the township Planning Commission and advertising for the open seat.
Beodeker, in his report, said an informal emergency management open house would be held 7-9pm on October 28th. He said the fire department had a successful Comedy Night recently and thanked the public’s support.
Supervisors approved usage of Akenac Park on Oct. 5 from 9am to 4pm for the Pike County Combat Vet Center group. It also approved usage of the municipal building by the Delaware Football League for an end of season recognition ceremony 2-8pm on November 5th and for usage of Akenac Park by the Dingman-Delaware Middle School’s fishing club on Thursdays from 3 to 5pm September 29th through October 27th.