Loop road heads to supervisors

A long journey for a short road has one more stop to make — at a Chadds Ford Township Board of Supervisors' meeting. Members of the township Planning Commission last night voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the final plan for the Hillman Drive extension, the last leg of the loop road around the intersection of Routes 1 and 202.

"This idea has been around since the 1970s, so the time is right," said commission Chairman Craig Huffman during the Nov. 8 meeting.

Supervisors are expected to vote on the final plan in December. If they approve, work will start sometime next year. Once construction begins, the roadway — which now stops at the bottom of Evergreen Place in the Chadds Ford Business Campus — would extend to Route 1. The Henderson Group owns the business campus and will pay for the work.

At issue for the Planning Commission was to get an assurance that Henderson would comply with all the points in the township engineer's and land planner's review letters and to get more information on the sound attenuating fence to go between the road and the Painter's Crossing Condominium property.

Attorney Ross Weiss, representing Henderson, presented the commission members documents showing a fence with sound absorbing material sandwiched between wooden fencing. The material would reduce sound volume by 85 percent.

Huffman suggested that the final selection of material would be up to Mike Schneider, the township engineer, and Weiss agreed.

The fence, as originally proposed, would have been 6 feet high and 150 feet long, but changed to 8 feet high and 300 feet long. According to Schneider, the fence was "adequately revised."

Speed tables are another concern. Per Huffman's suggestion, the road will be built without speed tables, but they could be installed later if supervisors deem them necessary.

It's uncertain when work would begin. In addition to the potential for inclement weather, Henderson still needs to get easements from the condominium. Clark Hoffman, president of the condo association, said that should not be a problem, but has to talk with the association's attorney first and then work out the proper wording with Henderson.

"I don't see a problem," he said. "The plan meets the needs of the community."

There are other changes planned. Traffic heading south on Dickinson Drive will not be able to turn left onto Hillman. That traffic will have to turn right and then loop around the roundabout at Evergreen.

Also, northbound traffic on Dickinson will no longer be allowed to turn left onto southbound Route 1. Traffic wanting to go south on 1 would use the extension and make the left turn at the traffic light at Brandywine View Antiques.

The intersection of Hillman Drive and Route 1 would have one inbound traffic lane from Route 1 and three lanes heading out. The same type of traffic flow will happen at Hillman and Route 202, one in and three out.

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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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