Flashing beacon project bid exceeds estimates

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com

One effort to make Greencastle streets safer is stalled at a yellow light while progress is being made on another.

Rapid flashing beacons 

The borough was awarded a Green Light-Go grant nearly two years ago to install rapid flashing beacons to make crossing Baltimore Street safer for pedestrians at the Allison Street and Linden Avenue intersections.

All the paperwork is now in place for installation of signals at the crosswalks, but the only bid the borough received is $20,000 over estimates, Borough Manager Eden Ratliff reported at Monday's borough council meeting.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant for $43,677 was awarded in May 2017, with a $10,000 local match split evenly between the borough and the Greencastle-Antrim School District.

However, the one bid received to install the beacons is for $75,660. Council tabled that bid while Ratliff reaches out to PennDOT and the school district to talk about what to do next.

Trucks on South Washington Street 

Mayor Ben Thomas Jr., who has led efforts to get truck traffic off South Washington Street, received a letter from Jason Bewley, PennDOT district traffic engineer, that says new signs will be placed on U.S. 11 directing northbound trucks how to get to Interstate 81.

GPS often directs trucks down Washington Street to Baltimore Street (Route 16) en route to I-81. Not only does this send big trucks through a residential area, but many have trouble making the turn onto Baltimore Street, damaging poles at the intersection.

PennDOT will enlarge the U.S. 11 north and arrow signs and erect a large new sign at the U.S. 11-Washington Street intersection "directing trucks to use US 0011 to get to Interstate 0081."

Thomas called the signs "a first step we will monitor. I am hopeful this will have a positive impact in the community."

If problems persist, other suggestions will be made, such as a PennDOT traffic study, Thomas said.