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Supervisors go round and round over intersection

April 10, 2007|BY JENNIFER FITCH

QUINCY, Pa. - Representatives of Quincy and Washington townships are expected to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on Wednesday to fund a traffic circle they say they can't afford without help.

Estimates discussed in a planning session Monday started at $500,000 for the rotary at the future intersection of Pa. 997 and Washington Township Boulevard. The traffic circle had been encouraged in a letter to PennDOT from the Quincy Township Supervisors.

Kerry Bumbaugh, one of Quincy Township's three supervisors, argued a traffic circle would allow residents of South Mountain, Quincy and Tomstown - whom he expects to use the intersection daily - to move through the junction quickly.

The Washington Township Supervisors, who are building the $14.3 million boulevard north of Waynesboro, had planned a traditional traffic light at the intersection, which will replace the existing, troublesome intersection of Pa. 997 and Tomstown Road.

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Although representatives of both municipalities agreed Monday that a traffic circle could be a boon for the intersection, some felt it would be overwhelming due to the land purchase that would be necessary there.

"It's going to be cost prohibitive because we don't have the money, you don't have the money, the developers are going to balk and the residents are going to balk," Washington Township Supervisor C. Stewart McCleaf said.

The radius of a traffic circle depends on the number of lanes and desired speed, officials said.

Washington Township Manager Mike Christopher mused that the one designed for the intersection could be the width of three football fields.

"A roundabout takes a lot of real estate, especially in our case because we'll eventually be going to two lanes each way," Washington Township Supervisor Carroll Sturm said.

He expressed concern about "an awful training period here because people aren't familiar" with traffic circles, although Bumbaugh and fellow Quincy Township Supervisor Robert Gunder highlighted others in the region.

Tractor-trailers traveling at angles in the traffic circle would tear up the blacktop, Christopher said.

Christopher estimated that a traditional traffic light would cost $200,000; he expects that a commercial entity at the intersection would pay for the traffic signal.

A traffic study showed that the number of vehicles using Washington Township Boulevard in 2017 - projected to be 10,000 daily - warrants not only the traffic light with Pa. 997, but also another at the intersection with Tomstown Road, about 600 feet away, according to Christopher.

Washington Township Boulevard, a relief route being built in phases, is designed to alleviate traffic congestion on Pa. 16.

The meeting was hosted by state Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin.

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