By Jonathan Weaver
For four months – and during both summer vacation and the start of the school year – Manor Township parents and residents have had to endure a local bridge repair.
But, today, Garretts Run Bridge 10 carrying Hill Street over the small waterway is back open for vehicular traffic.
Since June 9, Francis J. Palo, Inc. crews from Clarion began work on replacing have worked on replacing the structurally-deficient bridge built in the 1930’s that allows traffic to enter Manor Township and Manorville Borough, leaving wayward motorists to detour along the one-way Boyd Road even though the detour only recognized State Route 66.
A petition by the 13 residents along Boyd Road cited dangerous conditions due to the overflow of traffic and they brought their concerns to Manor Township supervisors beginning in August.
“It’s resulted in significant changes in traffic (including) speeding vehicles,” resident Heather Clark said at the time. “Boyd Road is a single lane, kind-of deteriorating road to begin with, but we now have ongoing traffic in opposing directions. We try to get out of our driveway and there are people we’ve never seen before swearing at us.
“(But) My major concern is, when school starts, all the children have to walk that road to get to the bus stop. Morning rush-hour and evening rush-hour are the worst times.”
The road, with a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour, was studied by township engineering firm Senate Engineering after a unanimous vote in September after it was found the speed limit was not enforceable
Senate Engineering’s Ben Bothell recommended the posted-15 mile per hour speed limit signs be taken down, and previously explained they had to be since the lowest available post is 35 miles per hour per the Vehicle Code. A 25 miles-per-hour restriction was permitted, but the roadway was not the necessary 300 feet of continuous house or garage, permitting top speeds of 55 miles per hour.
Manor Township Police officers were able to cite motorists who they determine are driving too fast for conditions or traveling at unsafe speeds, Police Sgt. Terry Bish said.
Township Supervisor Chair James McGinnis was initially surprised the road has become such a bad detour, since it was the designated detour during a previous bridge project but no problems were reported.
“We don’t want anybody getting hurt – that’s our main concern. Right now, we’ve done everything legally we can,” McGinnis said. “People should use common sense coming through there.”
During a public meeting in October 2011 on the bridge project before it was bid out by PennDOT District 10, it was projected to be a shorter, but costlier road project. The project was part of the 12-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and later was named to PennDOT’s Long-Rage Plan