Madison Street residents learn about paving project

June 08, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, PA. -- About 50 Madison Street property owners heard first-hand Tuesday night how the repaving of their street will affect them and which ones will have to pay to replace the sidewalks and curbs in front of their homes.

The work, another major project like those already done on Ridge Avenue and Allison Street, will involve new gas lines and bigger water lines as well as repaving and stormwater controls.

Borough Manager Ken Womack didn't pull punches when he told the residents that the work will create obstructions and be inconvenient at times.

"I need to tell you it's going to impact you," he said. "There's no way construction like this won't be an inconvenience."


About six-and-a-half-blocks of Madison Street, from Jefferson Street to Spring Grove Avenue, will be affected by the project.

Womack said the work is needed to improve the borough's overall infrastructure. It's being done in pieces to ease the burden on taxpayers, he said.

The project, which begins this year and could run into 2012, opens with the building of the street's first stormwater drainage system. After that, new 2-inch plastic gas lines will be installed on the north side of Madison Street by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania to replace an old 1-inch line to increase the pressure for all users.

Following that, a new 8-inch water main will be constructed down the length of the Madison Street. The final work will be the repaving, Womack said.

Tom Warner, a Columbia Gas spokesman, said the increased pressure also means that meters will be placed on the outside of homes instead of inside in basements where most are now.

Several residents objected to moving meters on the outside for aesthetic reasons.

"It's really odd," one resident said. He called the exterior meters on homes on Baltimore Street, which also went through a recent repaving project, "eyesores."

"They really look terrible. I wouldn't want one hanging on my house," he said.

Warner said it was a safety issue and that homeowners won't have a choice. He said the meters would be matched to the color of the homes.

Columbia Gas will pay for all the work and equipment and will replace all sidewalks and curbs that have to be broken up to lay the lines, Warner said.

There were no arguments from northside residents on that announcement.

Councilman Harry Foley reminded the residents that Columbia Gas has requested a rate hike to defray some of the costs of the Madison Street work.

"They can't swallow all of the costs of a project like this," Foley said.

Residents also learned that they will be eligible for rebates if they chose to replace aging gas furnaces.

Womack credited the gas company for doing good work on the Ridge Street project.

Aware that curb and sidewalk replacements were a "hot issue," Womack suggested that residents get together, like they did on Allison Street, and hire a single contractor to get the best price. He also urged them to make sure any quotes included the cost of removing the old sidewalks.

All sidewalks have to be replaced in 2011. Financial aid might be available for low-income property owners.

The borough will pay for all of the Americans with Disabilities Act sidewalk ramps through a $100,000 grant it received, Womack said.

Affected residents will receive information on the construction timeline by mail. They also can follow the work's progress when Womack sets up a new link on the borough's Web site at

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