New Garden board OKs intersection plan
● By J. Chambless
By Richard L. Gaw
The biggest thorn in the side of
southern Chester County drivers has been moved one step closer to
The New Garden Board of Supervisors gave approval to the conceptual design for what hopes to be the improved intersection of Baltimore Pike and Newark Road, at their Oct. 19 meeting.
The intersection design concept, currently being developed by McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners, features both widened and additional turning and through lanes to accommodate truck traffic, as well as retaining walls and pedestrian crosswalks.
The approval of these design concepts now allows the township to pursue funding for the construction of the project, which Township Manager Tony Scheivert estimated would be approximately $6 million.
Scheivert said that the project – which has been on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's [PennDOT] punch list for at least the past decade – is now PennDOT's top construction priority in Chester County. He said that the intersection is also the number one county intersection priority in a study just completed by the Chester County Planning Commission.
“That gets us some standing and to the top of the list for some funding,” Scheivert said.
While are leaders like State Sen. Andy Dinniman have expressed a desire to move the intersection project forward, some board members balked at spending township dollars for continued engineering costs.
“I'm all for spending money the right way if it gets things moving, but I don't want us to spend $500,000, only to have the project still sitting there,” said Supervisor Randy Geouque.
In other township news, the board gave support to the conceptual plans of Steven and Sarah Dooley, residents of 1227 Newark Road, to explore their idea to build an access path from their property to the New Garden Flying Field, in order to allow them to transport their small aircraft – a 1946 Luscombe model -- from their property to the air field. The Dooley's have lived on their property, which is just shy of three acres and is located just south of the air field's entrance, since 1999.
According to their plans, the grass pathway would be between 1,000 and 1,500 feet in length, be about 25 feet wide, and would snake through a wooded, 12-acre area behind the Dooley's property.
Supervisors weighed in on the logistics of building the access way.
“I think there are some mechanics to work out, as far as easements, but the other concern we have is if you're going to create this on grass, where does the liability stop with the township, if Mr. Dooley picks up stones [on the pathway] and breaks his aircraft?” said Board Chairman Steve Allaband.
There would be a way to construct agreements to have Mr. Dooley bear the burden of any potential liabilities that could result from building the pathway, said MacElree Harvey, Ltd. attorney J. Charles Gerbron, Jr., Esq., who represented the Dooley's.
“The issue here is just to see whether this is something the supervisors would consider these plans in theory,” Gerbron said. “Most of those concerns are the things we would be discussing if we were to come back with a written agreement.”
Marion Waggoner of the Save Our Water Committee gave the supervisors an update of the Sept. 15 public hearing conducted by the Delaware River Basin Commission [DRBC], who agreed to table any approval to the request of Artesian Water Resources to activate the Broad Run well in Landenberg. Waggoner told the supervisors that during the public comment period of the meeting, 17 individuals provided the DRBCwith their objections to Artesian's request, and that over 100 individuals have submitted written objections.
He told the supervisors that over the next few months, the DRBC will be accepting additional written comments n the Artesian request, and is expected to make its final ruling in December.
“We're in one of those situations where we are hoping for the best, but are preparing for the worst,” he said.
While the Committee awaits the DRBC ruling, Waggoner said that the group has begun its own stream monitoring program at the Broad Run Creek, located near the Broad Run well, using technology from the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale. The objective of the research is to establish a baseline of the stream conductivity, before pumping occurs, by monitoring water quality and seasonal variations of water flows in the stream.
“In the event that pumping occurs, we're in the position to say, 'Here's what's happening to the stream as a result of pumping,'” Waggoner said. “Long term, we'd like to have some data, just to predict the health of the stream.”
The board also approved the hiring of New Garden Township Police Officer Ryan Kushner as a full-time officer, and Zac Eldreth as part of the township's Public Works department.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.