PennDOT to air plans for Sumneytown Pike/Route 63 bridge construction
Marlborough Township Manager Ellie Sadorf opened Monday night’s workshop session with the announcement that representatives from PennDOT will be attending the March 14 board of supervisors meeting.
At that meeting, PennDOT will announce and explain upcoming bridge repairs along Sumneytown Pike in both Marlborough and Lower Salford townships.
As the repairs are expected to be disruptive to major traffic flow through the area, PennDOT will advertise the meeting and notify affected property owners. Sadorf is anticipating a large turnout for the March 14 meeting.
“If you want a seat, you should probably get here early,” Sadorf said.
In other bridge business, supervisors discussed options for the McLean Station Road Bridge which crosses Macoby Creek adjacent to the Macoby Run Golf Course. The bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic for over 24 years with several funding delays preventing its repair. In the fall of 2011, the structurally deficient bridge was also closed to all pedestrian traffic, including golf carts.
Sadorf explained that the Montgomery County Roads and Bridges Department met with township officials on Feb. 8 to discuss options beyond the removal of the bridge. The Macoby Creek at McClean Station Road could be added to the county’s bridge rebuild list, although it could be at least ten years before a design is scheduled, with no guarantees of funding.
“They are not asking us what we think anymore, they are telling us,” Sadorf commented. “Just because it is on the list does not mean it is going to be built.”
Golf course manager Sheila Shaffer explained that the bridge’s closure has resulted in pedestrian traffic, including bicycles and horses, diverting across the golf course to use the fairway bridge, interrupting golfers with potential property damage. Golfers have also used the bridge as an alternate route along the golf course.
Supervisor Chair Joan Smith requested that the township solicitor look at the paperwork from the county to more thoroughly review whether the township has any possible recourse that would not incur extraneous expense or liability.
“There is not anybody here who does not feel your pain,” Smith said. “We do not want your business to suffer but we have to do due diligence on behalf of the citizens of Marlborough Township.”
Smith added that the solicitor review will be expedited, with answers expected this week.
“You only have to look at the large number of bridges in this county that are in terrible shape to know that the county has abdicated its responsibility,” Smith concluded.
Supervisors also discussed options to purchase and store rock salt for next winter. Given the mild winter thus far, Road Master Bud Carter explained that the township is anticipating an approximate 200 ton surplus. The township must decide by July 2012 whether to request storage for the salt at a cost of $1,000 or prepare an area for onsite storage which could cost even more. In addition, salt for next winter must be ordered by March 15.
Supervisors authorized Carter to decide by the March 15 deadline whether to order 500 tons, 200 less than this year for the winter of 2012-2013. Supervisor Brian Doremus explained this will allow Carter to factor in any salt used between now and then. Supervisors also agreed to wait until closer to July to make a decision regarding the surplus storage.