Loop road vote in sight

A Planning Commission vote on whether or not to recommend final approval for the proposed Hillman Drive extension, the loop road, is expected in November.

That was the word from commission Chairman Craig Huffman during the commission's Oct. 11 meeting. If commissioners recommend approval, Chadds Ford Township Board of Supervisors could vote on the plan in December.

Supervisors granted preliminary approval for the project last October and in March approved a roundabout at Hillman and Evergreen Place. If approved, the work would extend Hillman Drive through the Chadds Ford Business Campus from just west of Evergreen Place all the way to Route 1, making the final loop segment between Routes 1 and 202.

During last night's meeting, Chuck Olivo, the engineer for the applicant — The Henderson Group — addressed issues brought up by the township engineer's review letter of the final plan. Most of the items were obligatory housekeeping details, but others had more substance.

One item of significance was the proposed sound-attenuating barrier running along the boundary with Painters Crossing Condominiums. Olivo said the barrier would be 8 feet high and 300 feet long. However, Huffman said he wanted more information. Specifically, he said he wants to see a sample of the material and understand how the sound dampening material is affixed and how it works.

Huffman also said he wants to see those housekeeping issues cleaned up on the plan. Attorney Ross Weiss agreed to all the points in the review letter and Huffman's requests.

Another topic of discussion was whether or not there should be a speed table installed on Hillman Drive between Route 1 and Evergreen, and where it should go if it were needed. That point remains open with an informal understanding that the plan could go forward without the traffic-calming device, but that it could be added later.

Next month's Planning Commission meeting is Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The project is expected to be the first item discussed.

The Henderson Group, the owner of the Chadds Ford Business Campus, is the applicant on the project. Vice President Mark Eisenhardt said from the beginning — two years ago — that Henderson would pay for the work itself without any tax money used. While the current plan has been under formal consideration for two years, PennDOT, Henderson and residents have wanted the loop for 40 years.

The other three segments of the loop system are Applied Bank Boulevard, State Farm Drive and Brandywine Drive. Hillman Drive already connects with Route 202 across from Applied Bank Boulevard and would connect with Route 1 across from Brandywine Drive.

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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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