Roadwork dominates Birmingham meeting

The April 4 meeting of the Birmingham Township Board of Supervisors was pretty much all about roads.

Supervisor Scott Boorse recapped last week’s meeting with PennDOT regarding the Route 926 Bridge project, and Police Chief Tom Nelling said there would be a township-imposed detour on Country Club Road that would coincide with PennDOT’s detour during the bridge reconstruction.

As previously reported, construction is set to begin on the bridge project at the end of this year, with a detour going into effect in late February or early March. But instead of a detour around the bridge lasting up to a year, it will only be for about six months. PennDOT will impose penalties on the contractor if the detour lasts beyond Labor Day.

But Birmingham Township will also be detouring traffic around Country Club Road while the bridge is shut down.

Nelling said Country Club would be closed between Hessian and General Wayne Roads.

“You won’t be able to get to Radley Run Country Club from Creek Road [during the bridge closure],” Nelling said. “It’s to prevent people from using Country Club as a cut-through while the bridge is closed.”

Boorse also said that Creek Road, between Route 1 and Route 926 would remain open when the bridge project shifts to realign Creek Road between Route 52 and 926. Traffic from Route 1 can go north on Creek Road and turn right onto eastbound 926. Traffic from westbound 926 will be able to turn left onto southbound Creek Road.

He added that supervisors met with PennDOT officials regarding improvements to the southern portion of Creek Road earlier in March and two of three concerns are to be addressed.

Work will be done to repair the area of potholes between Master’s Way and Brinton’s Bridge Road, and crews will look to install an inlet to take standing water from the roadway to the creek.

“For the record, PennDOT is addressing our concerns, and two of them should be addressed by mid-summer,” Boorse said.

A third concern, shoring up the road surface, would be examined, but nothing beyond that has been promised, he said.

Roadmaster Dave Rathbun said during his quarterly road report that Innovative Construction would perform the work required for the 2016 road program at a cost of $220,000, $10,000 less than the engineer’s estimate.

Rathbun said Innovative, which did the project in 2014, is eager to get started and would likely begin milling and patching this week, weather permitting. A subcontractor will do the sealing and coating once daytime temperatures are consistently in the 60s.

He added that the township would receive more liquid fuels money than anticipated. Birmingham thought it would get $147,000, but the actual figure now is almost $151,000.

Rathbun also reported that the township spent $72,195 spent on snow removal, which is 51 percent of what was budgeted.

Other business

  • The supervisors voted to change township office hours effective May 1. The new hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with no hours on Friday. Also approved was the hiring of Judy Jensen as part-time office personnel at $20 per hour.

Current office hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Supervisors’ Chairman John Conklin said the change was worth a try, while Boorse added that most of the people coming to the township building on business come before noon and that almost no one comes on Fridays.

  • There will a zoning hearing on April 20. Clive Robertson and Elaine Campbell want to install solar panels on their roof at 1610 Master’s Way.

Dave Santoleri, of TerraSol Energies, said the panels would be installed on the roof at the rear of the house and that they wouldn’t be visible from the road. He also told the board that the plans meet with township codes.

The board chose not to take a position on the matter, and will let the Zoning Hearing Board decide as it thinks best. The alternative energy ordinance requires a zoning hearing for the installation of solar panels.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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