Category: Manor Township

Manor Township Bridge Reopens to Motorists

Construction crews finalize bridge repairs and got Hill Street ready for motor traffic yesterday.

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

 

Township Approves Engineering Study for Roadway Speeding

Nearly 20 local residents filled the Manor Township regular supervisors meeting to see what solution might come from the Hill Street bridge reconstruction that is endangering pedestrians on the narrow Boyd Road – the “unofficial detour.” Supervisors agreed to have Senate Engineering conduct an engineering study.

By Jonathan Weaver

Speeding and harassment along an “unofficial detour” in Manor Township during a local bridge construction has caused township supervisors to step in.

Supervisors unanimously last night passed a motion to have township engineering firm Senate Engineering study Boyd Road – a posted 15 mile-per-hour narrow road near bridge reconstruction efforts along Hill Street – for updates.

Heather Clark, her husband – Gordon – and other Boyd Road residents were at last month’s meeting and gave supervisors a petition signed by all homeowners – prompting them to issue permits for local travelers.

Township Supervisor Paul Rearick said interpretation of the second-class township code after review with Solicitor Andrew Sacco has changed, however, since the posted speed limit is not enforcable – leading to the engineering study decision.

“There has to be an ordinance enacted (and) there’s going to have to be a traffic engineering study done allowing us to enact an ordinance,” Rearick said. “I have no problem doing that.

“(But,) the police can’t sit there and write a citation for something that isn’t legal to write. An ordinance has to be in-place for that street. We looked at it and consulted with our solicitor again, and we are not legally allowed to close the road and give permits.”

Gordon said he has about 20 license plate numbers for speeders.

“You see the same cars come 18 times on a Friday, Saturday night, and they just go as fast as they can go over that hill,” Gordon said.

Heather said the driving conditions have scared her children as they get ready to go to school in the morning – something hard to wait for on a narrow roadway beside a hillside.

“It’s not against the people locally who aren’t flying – I don’t have a problem with that,” Heather said. “But something has to be done. When my youngest is too afraid to walk to the school bus, and he’s begging me in tears to drive him to school, there has to be something that can be done.”
Samantha Mechling, of Garretts Run, said she saw Heather put bricks onto the road to discourage speeders. Township supervisors, however, discouraged her from doing so in-case of an accident or property damage she would be then liable for.

Township Supervisor Chair James McGinnis was 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.”

Police Sgt. Terry Bish offered his support on behalf of the part-time township police force.

“I can promise you: until the bridge is open back up and the traffic flows normal again, we can sit up there as often as we can,” Sgt. Bish said.

Officials urged residents to call Armstrong 9-1-1 dispatchers to alert state police troopers at the Kittanning barracks (in East Franklin Township) if Manor Township officers are not on-duty.

Township Roadmaster Robert Southworth said he has fixed minor potholes along the roadway, but doesn’t want to fix them all since it might just end up increasing speeders.

Rearick said supervisors have also applied for Community Development Block Grant funds to extend water service to four homes along that road – meaning it might have to eventually be dug up in spots.

Officials also contemplated just turning the road into a one-lane roadway, but determined that would not solve problems for Boyd Road residents after Hill Street is reopened.