Motorists: Expect delays on Pa. 997

September 28, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Traffic is being detoured around the intersection of Pa. 997 and Mentzer Gap Road in Quincy Township this week while state highway crews install a large storm drain pipe under the road.

"We hope to be finished by the end of the week," said Dave Rock at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office in Chambersburg, Pa.

Rock said the project is being done in conjunction with one that is under way by Quincy Township to install a drainage pipe that will eliminate a 1,200-foot ditch along Mentzer Gap Road. That pipe will connect with the one being installed by PennDOT.


Rock said the section of Pa. 997 where PennDOT crews are working has a concrete base under the blacktop surface, which makes the digging more difficult.

Southbound Pa. 997 traffic headed toward Waynesboro is being detoured along Manheim Road to Pa. 316. Northbound traffic is being sent over Tomstown Road.

The project is one of many that has been completed or is under way in southern Franklin County this summer and fall, local officials said.

Washington Township is spending about $400,000 on improving more than five miles of the township's 80 miles of roadway this year, Township Manager Michael Christopher said Monday.

About $100,000 of the total comes from a one-mill hike in the township's tax rate, which will be spent exclusively for road maintenance, Christopher said. The rest comes from the township's share of state fuel tax funds.

The township's annual budget for road maintenance is about $660,000 this year, he said. The money pays the salaries of the township's six road department employees and for all materials and snow removal.

This year's repaving projects include all of Crestwood Circle; Old Mill, Amsterdam and Pennersville roads; and Wyndham Avenue.

Parts of Gehr, Mentzer Gap and Charmian roads also are being done.

The low-bid contractor has done a good job, Christopher said. "We're getting a lot of compliments from people," he said.

In the Borough of Waynesboro, two streets, Prospect Street and Sunnyside Avenue to the west of Waynesboro Hospital, are being reconstructed at a cost for both of $219,000, said Kevin Grubbs, assistant engineer for the borough.

Money for the projects comes from the borough's share of state fuel taxes.

Borough crews this summer completed the extension of Ninth Street to State Hill Road at a cost of $75,000, he said.

Repaving sections of Memorial Park Drive, South Grant, West Fifth and Fourth streets also is being done, he said. Community Development Block Grant funds have been earmarked for those projects.

The Borough of Mercersburg isn't fixing any of its streets this year, but has its hands full with a bridge over Buck Run in James Buchanan Birthplace Park west of the borough, said Borough Manager Arthur Speicher.

PennDOT inspectors ordered the bridge closed Friday after they discovered that high water from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan undermined the footing, Speicher said.

The second bridge on Stony Batter Road, one of two leading into the park, will be closed until the state can make repairs. Speicher said he didn't know how long that would take.

Closing the bridge should pose no particular hardship on visitors to the park. They can leave their vehicles before the bridge, cross it on foot and walk into the park.

Township employees have to drive to the borough's water treatment plant, which is beyond the bridge, for vehicle maintenance, Speicher said.

He said the water is shallow enough on one side of the bridge to ford the stream. The borough also has borrowed an all-terrain vehicle to use to get to the plant, he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles