Union board opens bids for Center Road

Two years and two months after Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Northeast and closed Center Road in Union Township and damaged culverts on five other roads, the Union Township Board of Supervisors opened bids on Oct. 21 for the reconstruction of Center Road.

Township Engineer Thomas Unger will review the bids by Oct. 30 and the board will meet Nov. 7 to award the project.

Board members said the road restoration project would begin immediately with the hope that asphalt plants might still be open to pave the road on a warm day and finish the project this year.

The estimated $80,000 project will be paid from the township’s new $650,000 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Infrastructure Bank (PIB) loan.

The board unanimously approved the PIB loan’s general obligation note of 1.65 percent over 10 years and annual payments of $86,000.

Culverts on Sycamore, Hallman, Crusher, Williams and Harmonyville roads will also be repaired and paved from the PIB loan funds.

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.

The project will be advertised in November, bids received by Dec. 10, awarded in early January, and completed by March 31.

Bids for Crusher Road will be received by Jan. 30, awarded at the board’s Feb. 17 meeting, and notice given to proceed in March.

There are no restrictions on Hallman, Sycamore, or Williams roads.

The board unanimously approved awarding its Ford F50 truck to Ray Kolb, of Pottstown, whose high bid was $10,500.

Board Chairman Donald E. Basile said Hopewell Street residents are requesting that Haines & Kibblehouse, Birdsboro, move the quarrying line back 450 feet behind their homes, not construct a berm, fence, or install monitoring wells.

“We met with Hopewell Street residents in September regarding the Cyclone Fence, berm construction and monitoring of wells every 1200 feet of their property,” said Basile, referring to the orders contained in a 1995 court order for H&K.

“Residents of Hopewell Street are very concerned that the berm would destroy the trees. The back property adjoins the quarry property, and you can’t see up 400 to 500 feet. They want to move the quarrying line back 450 feet and wouldn’t have to do the berm, fence, or monitor the wells. They also don’t want H&K to have access to their property from Hopewell Street.”

Basile said if H&K agrees to the 450-foot buffer, residents want that area turned over to the Hopewell Big Woods Partnership, “so nothing would ever happen to that ground.”

He said the board will inform the public of H&K’s response at the board’s Nov. 18 meeting.

Following that, Basile said an agreement would be written and submitted to the court for a formal agreement.

“Who is asking for the court order to be changed and who will take the initiative to change it?” said Supervisor John Salaneck III, stating to the press, “I wouldn’t waste a lot of newspaper space on this.”

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