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Chester County Press

Fixing dangerous intersection a top priority in Penn Twp.

02/09/2015 12:29PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Curtis Mason, the chairman of the Penn Township Board of Supervisors, explained at the Feb. 4 meeting that the township is working closely with engineers in an effort to finalize a concept plan for major improvements to the Baltimore Pike and Route 796 intersection. The plan for this troublesome intersection is required before the township can start applying for grants to hopefully pay for a large part of the reconstruction.

The new design will realign the intersection and add turning lanes on both roads to alleviate the current traffic congestion. In order to widen the road, the plan indicates removal of side structures on the Red Rose Inn property. The original historic part of the Inn, which is now owned by Penn Township, will remain intact.

As traffic has increased in the township, the Baltimore Pike and Route 796 intersection has become not only an annoyance, but dangerous. Mason shared his feelings saying, “The biggest issue in the entire township, as far as I’m concerned, is that intersection.”

In other business, the supervisors discussed building a large salt shed to store up to 1,000 tons of salt for the township’s winter maintenance of their roadways. Currently, the township’s salt is stored at a contractor’s facility, which is quite expensive. Mason noted that nearby Franklin Township has shared the plans for their recently built salt shed, and Penn’s building will be similar to that one. He added that the building site will be a township property on old Lewis Road, off of Route 796, where the structure will be set back “and you won’t even see it.”

The newly installed traffic signals at the Rt. 1 Bypass are now operating and the fire company has checked them . Mason said all the lights along Route 796 will work in sequence. “This 'smart system' is computer and camera driven,” he added. “It’s pretty high-tech.”

Penn Medicine’s Medical Office Building is now all closed in and interior work should move quickly. They expect to complete the project and to open by late spring or early summer.