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Chester County Press

Kennett board gives OK to begin final design of Chandler Mill Road trail

06/22/2021 08:29PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

At their May meeting, the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors asked the township staff to work with the township’s trail consultants to develop design and engineering for the development of a trail adjacent to Chandler Mill Road, as a continuation of the Kennett Greenway.

At its June 16 online meeting, the board approved a task order for the completion of the final design and engineering for the project, which is estimated at $628,397 and will take between six and seven months to complete. The design of the project will be developed by Biohabitats, a Baltimore-based ecological firm dedicated to restoring ecosystems and conserving habitat through assessment, planning, engineering and design.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biohabitats will serve as the manager of the project and provide input on ecological considerations for the trail, in consultation with McMahon Associates, Unknown Studio and permitting and stormwater management support from Meliora.

Once the final design is approved by the township, the project will be put out to bid for construction. The projected cost of the trail’s construction is estimated at $5.196 million, which calls for the development of an eight-foot-wide trail beside Chandler Mill Road. The township will pursue grant sources in order to defray costs for the construction of the project.

In other township business, the board passed a resolution in support of Kennett Borough’s application to receive a multimodal fund for the continued commitment to and development of the Kennett Greenway Connectors Birch Street and Magnolia Underpass project, in collaboration with the borough.

The project involves the reconstruction of Birch Street that will include stormwater management, street lighting, curb and safety improvements, as well as the construction of a walking and biking path.

The project also includes the construction of the Magnolia Underpass, which will provide a pedestrian and bicycle crossing beneath the East Penn Railway connecting Kennett Greenway trail segments between the Township and Borough.

Dr. Lou Kaplan, a director with Safety, Agriculture, Villages & Environment (S.A.V.E.) recommended that the township use the services of Mark Johnson of MTJ Roundabout Engineering in the design of the Five Points Roundabout in the township.

Recently, Johnson was hired by Londonderry Township to provide peer review of a PennDOT roundabout designed for the intersection of Routes 926 and 41. He made numerous suggestions and refinements to improve the PennDOT design, nearly all of which were incorporated into the final design of that roundabout, scheduled for construction in 2022.

“I think you will find that Mark Johnson is highly respected by PennDOT and has the ability, through years of experience and design expertise, to address any issues that you would face in your project,” Kaplan said.

“The Board of Supervisors does have jurisdiction over choosing the engineer and designer for the roundabout, but the project will ultimately have to be reviewed with PennDOT,” said township Manager Eden Ratliff, who informed the board that he expects to issue a request for proposal for the project sometime this summer. “We have several years to get this project complete, so we are definitely ahead of the game in figuring out who should be leading us in terms of engineering and design.”

The board also approved the appointment of Karen Marshall to the township’s Historical Commission for a five-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].