11/16 intersection upgrade gets push, street work woes heard

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

An improvement project for the intersection of U.S. 11 and Route 16 in Greencastle got a push Monday from the Greencastle Borough Council.

The council voted to award a contract for preliminary and final design to Gannett Fleming Inc. subject to receiving a $100,000 from Waste Management as part of its pledge to the project.

“I think we’re all anxious to see this move forward,” said Council President Charles Eckstine at the meeting.

In 2007 officials began looking for funding for the $2.5 million project to add three more right turn lanes, similar to the current one in front of CVS Pharmacy on U.S. 11. The project would also include a new signal aimed at better turning control.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation proposed to fund $1.9 million and sought local matching funds. Waste Management pledged $200,000 of the match, Antrim Township $20,000 and Montgomery Township $10,000.

The borough would fund all costs associated with preliminary engineering, final design, right-of-way and utility relocation prior to construction. The borough share of the project is estimated at $532,560.

The Gannett Fleming Inc. bid was $250,093.

It is hoped that construction will begin in 2011.

In other street business, the council heard complaints from borough resident Jim Thomas about safety concerns and dirt that was created with the current water line replacement project. Thomas spokes specifically about the area of his home, 55 W. Baltimore, at the intersection of West Baltimore and Jefferson Street.

“I’m not a happy camper,” Thomas told the council. He said he has had debris tracked into his home and a business there and has concerns about how equipment was left in the area after hours.

“There were some real hazards,” Thomas related. “They had a power broom and could have swept.

“There was no consideration to the home owners.”

Councilmembers were sympathetic to Thomas’ plight, but noted that the project was not theirs, but rather that of the water authority and state highway department.

“The bottom line is that you are the elected officials,” said Thomas. “You should be communicating with the water authority. You saw what the mess was; why not call a meeting.

“I know it’s a state highway, but it is our street.”

Officials said discussions were held, but not all of their suggestions were taken. They also expressed frustration with the ongoing work.

“I personally took down no parking signs on weekends,” said Councilman Duane Kinzer. “We have businesses downtown and I hope we have some after this is done.”

Borough Manager Ken Womack said the water line replacement project is “essentially done.”

Womack said work in advance of the paving of the road will include handicap ramps, manhole grates and sidewalks. A start date for the paving isn’t known, however the completion is expected by Oct. 15. The contractor does have until May to complete the contract.

In other business:

The council reviewed and approved its 2008 audit that included just a few recommendations.

The council approved a preliminary/final land development plan on behalf of Frederick Precast Concrete, Inc. to upgrade water management facilities to comply with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regulations and to mitigate site runoff to the intersection of U.S. 11 and South Carlisle Street.

The council approved a draft Five-Year Strategic Plan for a 30-day public comment period. It will be on the borough Website and available at borough hall. It will be voted on at the Sept. 8 council meeting.

The council reviewed an engineering report outlining the necessary action to meet Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Planning-mandated limits for total phosphorous and total nitrogen wastewater discharges from the borough’s wastewater plant.

The council discussed the formation of a beautification committee.