Revised plans for the Krumsville Interchange Project received favor from some Greenwich Township residents Monday night.
Eliminated was the turn around, or traffic circle.
“I think this plan is better than the other plan,” said Greenwich Township resident Joyce Dietrich.
Linda Grim agreed.
“I made a big fuss over the turn around,” said Grim, who previously lived directly in the path of the project but now lives about a mile away from it. “I think they’ve come along way from the old plan, but they’re not 100 percent there. I know not everyone will be appeased,” she said, but she hopes the goal is to please as many residents as possible.
One of her concerns about the new plan is about tractor trailers entering the Skyview Diner from the rear entrance, noting that trucks have to do a u-turn in the small parking now and she feels that will be impossible with only a rear entrance from Bowers Road.
James McGee, of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, noted that they have not discussed any plans for addressing traffic entering the diner with the owner yet.
Plans for an estimated $33 million Krumsville Interchange Project were presented previously to residents April 19 at Greenwich-Lenhartsville Elementary School and there was an outcry against the turn around.
“Circles do not work,” said Scott Kershner, Greenwich Township resident, who previously would have lost his home to the project.
While Kershner and his wife Cyndi were pleased to see the elimination of the circle, Cyndi expressed concerns about trucks entering the diner from the rear entrance. She also complained about the dust and dirt from the unpaved diner parking lot, as well as trash blowing into their yard. In addition, the noise and fumes from tractor trailers idling all night are also an issue for them.
Michael Stevens, of the Planning Commission, said those would be issues to be brought before the Board of Supervisors instead.
Design consultant Don Blough, of AECOM, Philadelphia, and McGee presented the revised plan to the planning commission and a full room.
“The changes that we’ve made were related directly to the public and township feedback,” said Blough. “This is a direct result of their feedback.”
“We heard what they said before and we went back and did what we could to accommodate as many of the concerns and issues as possible,” said McGee.
The purpose of the project is to reconstruct Interstate 78, said McGee.
“We want to replace and bring everything up to today’s standards. Substandard ramps, they’re very short. The bridges are very low so they get hit quite a bit.”
McGee said that major accidents basically shuts down 78 because there is no room, traffic gets pushed to local roads.
“When you have accidents on 78, because there are no shoulders, there’s no place for traffic to get around. Emergency services also have a problem on 78. This is to address those issues.”
The $33 to $35 million project displaces six residences and three commercial properties said Blough.
McGee could not discuss which commercial properties are being affected because they have not talked to the property owners yet.
They noted that the same number of properties are affected as compared to the old plan, just not all the same properties.
Right-away-acquisitions are anticipated to start by the fall or the end of this year, once PennDOT receives approval from environmental agencies.
The plan includes the realignment of Route 737 and Zettlemoyer Road connecting to Bowers Road, to create a “J hook” configuration. Bowers Road connects to Route 737 which connects to 78.