Exeter supervisors are hoping to harness state and federal dollars through Berks County's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to fund major road improvements.The board prioritized a list of projects for submission to the Reading Area Transportation Study, hoping each will be included in the state's 12-year plan.

At the top of the list is the construction of a jug handle to connect eastbound Route 422 with Shelbourne Road. Some $2.25 million in state and federal funding has already been allocated for the project, which is included in the Berks 2007-2010 TIP.

Among other items are:

Adding left-turn lanes on Route 562 in both directions at the intersections of Shelbourne and Oley Turnpike roads as well as a designated right-turn lane on Shelbourne Road as it approaches 562. Projected cost: $1.7 million.

Widening Perkiomen Avenue to accommodate left-turn lanes onto 34th Street. Projected cost: $1.5 million.

Adding a lane eastbound on Neversink Road from the bypass to Perkiomen Avenue. Projected cost: Just over $2 million.

Addressing drainage issues on Route 562 in the area of the Owatin Creek and increasing the super elevation of the roadway in some problem areas.

Adding push buttons which stop vehicles for pedestrian traffic to the traffic signals at Route 422 and 47th Street.

Adding battery backup for traffic lights at seven intersections along Route 422 and preemption devices that allow emergency responders to control traffic signals when responding to an emergency.

Restructuring Shelbourne Road to eliminate S-curves. Projected cost: $5.5 million.

Another project in the township already on the Berks TIP is the replacement of the Route 82 bridge over the Schuylkill River that connects Exeter and Birdsboro Borough.

While this wasn't on Exeter's list, it was an item recommended by PennDOT. Nearly $8.58 million is budgeted for the project, which PennDOT spokesman Ron Young says is currently in the preliminary engineering phase.

According to PennDOT's bridge condition report released Aug. 27, the bridge has been designated structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being entirely deficient and 100 being entirely sufficient, the bridge was given a rating of 3.

The surface of the bridge was was described as "poor" and the substructure was rated "critical," prompting an annual inspection schedule rather than a bi-annual schedule. The bridge was last inspected in June.

Young noted that the bridge is currently posted with a 15-ton weight restriction, but if it was determined that the bridge was unsafe, it would be closed. Typically, the process of replacing a bridge can run five to 10 years from the start of the design phase.

In other business, supervisors appointed John Dubach and David Loose Jr. as auditors to fill two seats left empty July 1 when auditors Dean Hornberger and Pamela Gockley resigned because they were moving out of the township. Gockley's term was scheduled to end this year, however no candidates were listed on this year's primary ballot. For Dubach and Loose to keep their positions as auditors beyond the end of the year, they would need to go to their political parties and be nominated to be on the general election ballot in November. If neither seeks election and no write-in candidates are elected for the position, the township would need to re-advertise and reappoint auditors for 2008.

Highway Supeintendent Clarence Hamm is preparing an ordinance to govern collections at the township's brush depository and researching the purchase of new cameras for the Trout Run complex to deter people from dumping furniture, household garbage and other items at the site.

In recent months, dumping as well as incidents of prohibited commercial vehicles dropping off brush have spurred concern. A $9,000 grant is also being looked at to pay for the cameras.

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