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More road work ahead for Pa. motorists

December 30, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With the U.S. 30 widening project and construction of the Exit 17 interchange, 2004 was a busy year for road construction and a trying one for motorists in the Chambersburg area.

Work on those projects will continue into the new year and the borough has a lengthy list of additional street improvements, some of which benefit from the sale earlier this year of Chambersburg Municipal Airport.

Next month the borough will advertise for bids to extend Norland Avenue to Walker Road south of Exit 17, according to Phil Wolgemuth, the borough's planning director. The avenue will be extended about three-quarters of a mile east to Walker Road.

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The borough has $2.4 million in federal funds to build the road through the Gabler tract and another $1.25 million to extend borough gas, water, sewer and electric lines under the right of way.

The construction is scheduled to be completed by the fall, he said. In conjunction with that, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is overlaying Walker Road, which will include a center turn lane along much of its border with the Gabler tract.

"A year from now, the Gabler farm will look a lot different than it does now," he said. That includes plans for Crest Ford to move from U.S. 30 in Guilford Township to the intersection of Walker Road and Gateway Avenue and a proposed Gateway Center commercial development on the south side of the intersection, he said.

In the 2005 budget, Borough Manager Eric Oyer listed other projects expected to be completed during the year, including $2 million in federal funds for improvements to Chambersburg Fort Park and Montgomery Avenue and a 1.1 mile rail-trail downtown.

The federally funded rail-trail is budgeted at more than $660,000. Assistant Borough Manager David Finch said the bid opening for the project will be Jan. 15.

An earlier round of bids that exceeded the budgeted amount was rejected by the council, he said.

The public works budget for street improvements was $400,000 in 2004, with half the money coming from state liquid fuel funds and the balance from the general fund capital reserve, according to the budget.

In 2005, however, the budget is $600,000 with $400,000 of that being proceeds from the sale of the airport. In 2006, the budget calls for $420,000 from the airport sale being used to augment state funding.

Next year, street reconstruction projects include Roland Avenue and East Catherine Street from Sixth Street to Coldbrook Avenue.

Scheduled repaving work includes Franklin Street from Lincoln Way to Loudon Street; South Street from Main Street to Hollywell Avenue; East Washington Street from Sixth to Eighth streets; Grant Street from Kennedy Street to Fifth Avenue; King Street from Hood Street to Second Street; Fifth Avenue from Grant Street to Rotz Lumber; and Kennedy Street.

The budget also includes $35,000 to repave several alleys.

Wolgemuth said improvements to Oak Street and Burkhart and Conner avenues are planned with about $105,000 in 2004 Community Development Block Grant funds.

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