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Council, state far apart on square issues

October 17, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The way Pennsylvania Department of Transportation engineers figure it, the Borough of Waynesboro owes the state $60,000 for changing its mind on how the town's center square should be configured.

Borough officials see things differently.

Three years ago, the Borough Council voted to close in the sidewalks to narrow the four-way intersection that brings Main and Church streets together. In May, the council voted again and changed its mind, deciding to leave the intersection as is.

PennDOT officials said by that time they had already spent about $60,000 on design and engineering for the original plan. Now the state wants its money back.

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According to an e-mail Penn-DOT Project Manager Michael Lapano sent to Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger on Wednesday, the highway department paid a consulting engineer for 857 hours of work at $70 an hour to design a closed-in intersection at a total cost of $60,000.

The overall Main Street project, estimated at $1.2 million, includes a major renovation of the downtown traffic control system to streamline the flow of traffic through town, including through the square.

Lapano said in his e-mail it will cost the state an additional $20,000 to $30,000 to pay for extra-long masts to properly display the signal heads to traffic in the square now that it will stay open.

"Potential cost savings from reducing the amount of curbing and sidewalk from the closed square design would be offset by the cost of the complicated signal," Lapano wrote.

That news wrecked the council's hopes of applying any savings gained by leaving the curbs and sidewalks as they are to the engineering costs PennDOT spent on the original closed square plan.

Hamberger hinted that the issue is not yet resolved and he would talk again to PennDOT officials.

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