The supervisors of Plumcreek Township were given an award yesterday by the Armstrong Conservation District.
“We give out an annual award for the best ‘environmentally sensitive’ maintenance project of all the projects that were done during the year,” Conservationist Dave Rupert explained.
The award was announced at the annual Pennsylvania Supervisors Association of Townships meeting held yesterday at the Kittanning Township Fire Hall.
Rupert said the Plumcreek’s project to fix approximately one-half mile of Gibson School Road was the single largest, road-fill project ever awarded a matching grant by the Conservation District.
“Frankly, it’s probably larger than should have been done. They were filling an average of 8-12 feet and that was because the road was entrenched. You have to fill road up or you have to install a very expensive drainage system. We worked with the Township to fill the road up and put a little cross drain system to kick some of the water off the road and then put a temporary surface on it.”
Resource Conservationist Gregg Smith showed PowerPoint slides at yesterday’s meeting showing the extreme depth of the road by parking a ten-ton truck in the lowest portion.
“It was an average of 8 (feet), but it was a minimum of six feet and a maximum of 12 feet. If you take a 10-ton truck and park it in that road, the top of the 10-ton truck was just slightly under the maximum amount of fill that was required,” Smith told supervisors during the award announcement.
Rupert said that the Township will still have to come back to the road at a future point and probably put another foot-and-a-half of fill on top so that there is complete positive drainage off of the road surface.
The Township was given a grant of $56,000 by the Conservation District for the road repair, and Plumcreek Township picked up the tab for the remainder of the cost.
“Plumcreek Twp committed all of their labor and equipment costs. Those costs were actually more than the funding we gave them. But, if you’re out on Gibson School Road, it is now so much nicer to travel than it was before the project was submitted,” Rupert said.
According to Rupert, Gibson School Road is on the northwest side of Elderton and used extensively by local motorists.
“It was extremely embedded. In the wintertime, it would drift with snow. In the spring/summer, it would lay wet with water, just because the water would have no place to go other than down the road.”
Rupert said Plumcreek was awarded the grant last year.
“They started in the Spring of 2017 and they finished in the Fall so they essentially spent a lot of their free days in the entire summer working on that project.”