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Grindstone Hill phase II closer to reality

December 14, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, PA. - Antrim Township is getting closer to beginning Phase II of its Grindstone Hill Extension project, which eventually will connect Pa. 16 and U.S. 11 at Interstate 81 near Exit 3.

Phase I, the one-mile stretch of roadway between Pa. 16 and Leitersburg Road, opened in December 2001. The second phase is another one-mile stretch from Leitersburg Road to where U.S. 11 intersects with the northbound Exit 3 ramp of Interstate 81. This road will be called Grindstone Hill Road and is in the planning stages, Antrim Township Manager Ben Thomas said.

"We've given the supervisors recommendations and suggestions and given them to the first of the year to make a timeline decision," Thomas said.

Thomas' recommendations to the board have been to build the intersection of U.S. 11 and Grindstone Hill Road/I-81 and extend the roadway so many feet into the project (to be determined by the supervisors); work with the Greencastle Water Authority regarding extension of the water main; and work with the Antrim Township Municipal Authority regarding sewer services, Thomas said.

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At the end of 2003, the township constructed a water tower off Bemisderfer Road, which was sized to accommodate phases I and II of the extension project, Thomas said.

The prime reasons for building this connector road are to decrease traffic congestion on U.S. 11, take development pressure off Pa. 16 and promote clustered economic development, rather than sprawl, Thomas said. It also is to protect farmland and allow "highway and community commercial growth to occur in this area," Thomas said.

Three businesses have moved near Phase I of the project, Thomas said.

The extension project is part of a master plan drawn up more than 10 years ago by representatives of Antrim Township, the Borough of Greencastle and the Greencastle-Antrim School District, Thomas said.

The reasons why it has taken six years to begin work on Phase II of the project is because of costs, preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisitions required for Phase I, Thomas said. Phase I cost $1,550,000 for the roadway, water and sewer mains.

Most of the improvements to Grindstone Hill Road and Pa. 16 during Phase I were paid for by Kinsley Group from York, Pa.

Because Grindstone Hill Road, once it is extended, will connect to U.S. 11, the township will have to gain approval from PennDOT and follow all of their regulations, said Angela Garland, zoning officer and public works inspector for Antrim Township.

The projected cost of Phase II is about $6 million, Thomas said. However, Thomas believes that figure is low because of the rising cost of fuel.

"That's also just to do the connector road extension," Garland said. "PennDOT could ask for other improvements at the location."

The Grindstone Hill Extension road will be zoned for commercial, light industrial, professional, highway commercial, community commercial and commercial and technology, Garland said.

"It's too expensive of a road for residential development," Garland said.

The township's goal is to follow the comprehensive plan, which is being updated from its 1992 version.

"We take direction from the board of supervisors - it sounds like their clear intent is to finish the project," Thomas said.

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