After more than two years, Center Road is open once again to vehicular traffic.
At a cost of $7,000 to Union Township, fish in the creek below Center Road, also now have an Aquatic Habitat (or fish ladder) to facilitate their travels upstream.
Board Chairman Donald E. Basile said the Aquatic Habitat was a state mandate by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), although the creek’s water levels have decreased and fish don’t reside there any longer.
Center Road was closed following damage it received during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
The approximate $80,000 road reconstruction project that included a new culvert, sanitary sewer lines, and base repair to the road, was paid from the township’s new $650,000 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Infrastructure Bank (PIB) loan.
Funds from the note, approved by the board last October at a rate of 1.65 percent over 10 years and annual payments of $86,000, will also be used to fix five other roads with culverts.
That includes the culverts on Sycamore, Hallman, Crusher, Williams and Harmonyville roads.
All work must be completed by Sept. 24, 2014. Board members said work on Harmonyville Road must be done between Nov. 1 and March 31 due to trout season.
Basile said the Aquatic Habitat cost $400 to design and an additional $6,600 to construct.
“DEP is out of control and we need to make this more public,” said Basile. “I’m tired of people telling us they have the power to tell us what do.”
Basile said the township is closer to a final agreement with Haines & Kibblehouse, Birdsboro, regarding details in the 1995 court order that relate to a buffer zone for the nearby Hopewell Street residents.
He said H&K officials indicated at the March 17 meeting with Basile that they would comply with 325 feet of the 400 foot buffer zone; they said the 75-foot berm would be installed on the 400-foot non-disturbance area.
The court order instructed H&K, a site contracting and excavation company, to construct a berm, a fence, install monitoring wells, allow a 400 foot buffer zone, as well as no truck traffic on Hopewell Street into H&K.Residents of Hopewell Street are concerned that the court-ordered constructions would likely result in H&K’s removal of the mature trees that residents say would be a natural barrier from the quarry dust.
The noise and dust will eventually increase as H&K’s quarrying operations move closer to those residences.
The only thing that would separate the homes from the quarry line is the 400-foot (non-disturbance) buffer zone.
Board members instructed township Solicitor Frederick K. Hatt to work with H&K’s attorney on clarifying the language in the court order.
“The biggest issue is no berm, no fence on the berm, and no wells,” said Basile.
Hatt said the only disturbance should be storm water retention, adding that the berm was going to be on H&K’s property, not on the 400 feet buffer.