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Chambersburg street work nears completion

November 26, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - As the reconstruction of Roland Avenue nears completion, Chambersburg is wrapping up one of its busiest years ever for street reconstruction and repair, but borough officials say 2007 will be much less ambitious.

"When it's all said and done, we'll probably be in excess of $2 million," Borough Manager Eric Oyer said of the 2006 street work. Putting that in perspective, he said, "the value of road work in '06 is almost the value of all the road work we did in the 1990s."

About $1.1 million of that figure is for the reconstruction of Roland Avenue in the borough's North End, Oyer said. Much of the cost of that project is being paid for with a federal Safe Routes to School grant, said Robert Wagner, the borough's director of public works.

The avenue serves an area near Faust Junior High School, and the improvements include widening the street, installing sidewalks and curbs, a new storm-water system, markings for bicycle lanes realigning the intersection with Scotland Avenue and installing a traffic signal at the intersection.

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Oyer said the project was scheduled to be completed in late summer, but was hampered first by delays in relocating Allegheny Power electrical lines and, more recently, by weather. Nevertheless, crews were working last week on putting in some of the more than 4,000 feet of sidewalks for the street, and Oyer said it could be finished before Christmas.

Also started this year is the reconstruction of Mill Road in an area of the borough's South End that is seeing rapid residential development. That project is scheduled for completion in 2007, according to Chambersburg's proposed budget.

Another project still under way is the Village on the Falling Spring, which received substantial federal funding. It includes alley and parking area improvements, utility upgrades, sidewalk construction and expansion of a small park in an area from North Second Street west across North Main Street and to the Falling Spring.

Additionally, the borough had 14 streets and avenues on its repaving schedule this year, according to the budget.

By contrast, the budget calls for just four streets to be repaved in 2007 - West Queen Street and sections of Central, Norland and Stanley avenues. Those projects total about $260,000, according to the budget.

"We'll be doing less, but we'll also be gearing up for Brumbaugh Avenue in 2008," Oyer said.

Wagner said the borough will apply for another Safe Routes to School grant to help fund the reconstruction of that street, which will cost an estimated $1 million. Brumbaugh Avenue is in the area of both Chambersburg Area Middle School and Chambersburg Area Senior High School, he said.

Also coming in 2007 are several new traffic signals to serve the Norland Avenue corridor in the North End, where Target and several other major retailers will open their doors next year. The council approved funding for those traffic lights in September, according to the budget.

In the past few years, the borough has been able to accomplish a considerable amount of road improvements due, in part, to the sale of the former Chambersburg Municipal Airport to the Susquehanna Regional Airport Authority. The $820,000 the borough received for the airport was rolled over into street projects, Oyer said.

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