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State grant program may help ease project's cost

The Chambersburg Borough Council may apply for a new state grant to help pay for a major reconstruction project along Roland Ave

The Chambersburg Borough Council may apply for a new state grant to help pay for a major reconstruction project along Roland Ave

July 13, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A new state program designed to make it safer for children to get to school may ease the financial burden of residents along Roland Avenue when that street is reconstructed.

Chambersburg Borough Manager Eric Oyer told the Borough Council Monday night that Pennsylvania's Safe Routes to Schools program will allocate $200 million over four years and recommended that the borough apply for a grant to help residents pay for curbs and sidewalks along Roland Avenue.

The project, from Scotland Avenue west to Cambridge Avenue, has an estimated price tag of $750,000, according to Oyer. A portion of Roland west from Cambridge to U.S. 11 is in Greene Township, Oyer said.

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The project includes widening and reconstructing the road to 38 feet in width, a new stormwater drainage system and the installation of curbs and sidewalks, he said.

The curbs and sidewalks, along with the removal of any trees, would be the responsibility of the property owners and Oyer estimated the cost of that at $250,000. Property owners along the route will be invited to the Monday council meeting for comments and questions, he said.

The road reconstruction would be paid for with borough street funds, Oyer said.

A Safe Routes to Schools grant could pay for up to 80 percent of the cost property owners would incur for installing curbs and sidewalks, because Roland Avenue is a main pedestrian route for some of the approximately 1,400 students who attend Faust Junior High School on Scotland Avenue, Oyer said.

A 38-foot cart way would allow for parking on both sides of the road, but the extra space could also be dedicated to bike paths. Councilman Ken Gill said he preferred bike paths and noted that parking currently is not allowed on Roland Avenue.

"I think it's an ideal street for bike lanes," Oyer said.

Oyer said pedestrian signals also could be incorporated in the grant application if the borough puts in a traffic signal at the intersection of Roland and Scotland avenues.

"I'd say you just spent the airport money," Councilman John Redding said, noting the cost of the project.

The borough is scheduled to sell Chambersburg Municipal Airport to the Susquehanna Regional Airport Authority on July 28 for $790,000. Money from the sale is slated for street projects in 2005-06.

Oyer said the work on Roland Avenue could be done as early as next year.

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