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Waynesboro's sidewalk money is already spent on something else

March 01, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - A dozen Waynesboro community leaders met earlier this week to plan for the future, and, in the process, asked a question to which no one seemed to have a sure answer.

What happened to the sidewalk that was supposed to parallel Pa. 16 near Renfrew Park?

"The project is dead" was State Sen. Terry Punt's response on Wednesday.

Several years ago, Punt secured $325,000 in grants to install 3,500 feet of sidewalk on the south side of the highway between East Second Street and Welty Road. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requirements added about $240,000 to the project costs.

"Everything just expanded and with the additional cost that PennDOT stipulated, with the curbing and inspection fee, it just drove the price sky high," Punt said, adding that the grants were spent elsewhere.

PennDOT two years ago refused to approve the sidewalk without curbing, Punt, R-Franklin, said.

"I think it's a shame because it's a safety issue. ... As a result, we have people walking on the shoulder opposed to a sidewalk," Washington Township (Pa.) Manager Mike Christopher said.

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"I started it really because I thought someone was going to get killed out there," Punt said, explaining that he was almost in an accident.

He explained that, while on his way home from the Capitol, he encountered a woman pushing a stroller on what is known as Beck's Curve near Renfrew Park. Two children were with her, Punt said.

"I had to swerve into the other lane. Fortunately, there were no cars in the other lane," Punt said.

Waynesboro Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger also called the project "dead."

"Quite frankly, no one has talked about it with me for a year and a half," Hamberger said.

Christopher said people do talk with him about the sidewalk, especially as the township puts a greater emphasis on walking paths.

"It was a good project certainly for innerconnectivity," Christopher said.

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