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Economy slows construction of Washington Township Boulevard

October 24, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The economic troubles affecting the housing market have in turn slowed construction of Washington Township Boulevard, especially the portion planned from Gehr Road to Pa. 997.

Private developers had been expected to build much of the relief route along with their housing developments. However, Washington Township Manager Mike Christopher recently pointed out that the road's buildout remains dependent on a now shaky real estate situation.

"There hasn't been any push to move forward," he said.

Washington Township Boulevard is a $16.7 million relief route being built north of Waynesboro to provide an alternate to heavily traveled Pa. 16. The road is open from Rouzerville Commons (the shopping center that houses Wal-Mart and Lowe's) to Old Forge Road.

"We've got the piece from Old Forge Road to Country Club Road to sub-base and ready to go," Christopher said. A geotextile material will be put down along with stone base and then blacktop, he said.

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That portion of the road cannot be completely opened until a new bridge has been installed over Antietam Creek. The bridge also will allow the township to connect an extension of North Welty Road to Washington Township Boulevard.

"The original schedule was optimistic, and they're a little behind on delivery of the bridge components. Everything's on hold waiting for the bridge components to come in," Christopher said.

He expects that several trucks carrying the 150-foot bridge will arrive in late November. Concrete slabs pieced together will create the three-arch bridge in the $2.1 million project. Lobar Site Development Inc., of Dillsburg, Pa., holds the contract and is expected to finish most work next spring.

No work occurred on the stretch of the relief route between Country Club Road and Gehr Road in 2008 because private developers were waiting on the township to finish its work to Country Club Road, Christopher said.

Paving on Washington Township Boulevard is expected to resume in the spring. The road will span four to five miles from its existing start to Pa. 997 at Tomstown Road.

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