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Residents: Trucks make Coseytown Road unsafe

July 28, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Residents alleging heavy truck traffic has made Coseytown Road dangerous for motorists and pedestrians told the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors on Tuesday they want the damage to stop.

Since March, contractor Charles E. Brake of St. Thomas, Pa., has been using the road to access a lot where the Army Corps of Engineers has permitted the company to dump waste from the Jonathan Street improvement project in Hagerstown, Township Administrator Brad Graham said.

About 20 residents came before the board Tuesday to express concerns about the lot and the trucks that access it daily.

"It is a narrow, skinny road," said Charles Rine of Greencastle. "They start coming at 7:30 in the morning and the bam, bam and the clack, clack, clack back there sounds like the Korean War."

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Coseytown Road stretches west from Williamsport Pike near the Mason-Dixon Line.

An older road, Graham said it is likely Coseytown Road was not engineered to bear the load of multiple dump trucks laden with waste.

The residents allege the trucks are destroying the road.

Rine said he has been forced off the road by the trucks while attempting to navigate the deteriorating right of way.

"It has become a safety hazard," said Vonda Haney of Greencastle.

Choking back tears, Haney said her children have been harmed by riding on the road.

"My kids have been bounced around awfully and have banged their heads against the windows because of the road," she said.

Charles Shahan said Coseytown Road cannot continue to bear the heavy truck traffic, which he said he was told is scheduled to continue into the fall.

"The road cannot make it another two or three months," he said.

The only legal means of preventing the trucks from using the road is to enact a weight-limit ordinance for Coseytown Road, Solicitor John Lisko said.

While the residents appreciated the board considering action, Shahan cautioned that if not carefully drafted, a weight-limit ordinance could prevent local farmers from using the road for deliveries.

The board asked its engineer, Martin and Martin of Chambersburg, to draft an estimate for conducting a traffic study on the road.

A traffic study would determine the maximum weight the road could bear under Pennsylvania Department of Transportation standards, Graham said.

The board voted 3-0 to pay its engineer up to $3,000 for the study. Supervisors Rick Baer and Curtis Myers were absent.

Despite the safety concerns associated with the road, the fear of many Coseytown Road residents Tuesday night was that township taxpayers would be forced to pay for repairs.

"I say we tell Brake or the Army Corps of Engineers or whomever to go ahead and tear up the road now, but they will have to replace it when they are done," Shahan said.

The residents also questioned sediment and erosion control, storm-water management and environmental permitting at the site.

In his motion, Supervisor Sam Miller instructed staff to contact all entities involved in permitting and enforcing the site to determine if any other legal action could be taken to prevent further damage.


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