Route 222 Plans Accelerating

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the snippet of Berks County where time appears to stop, and progress means inching forward in a line of brake lights that doesn’t seem to end.

Drivers and public officials in Berks have complained for years that the northern part of Route 222 – particularly the 7-mile stretch between the so-called Road to Nowhere expressway in Ontelaunee Township and the start of the Kutztown bypass in Richmond Township – is a commuting nightmare.  It’s also a safety hazard and a roadblock to economic growth.

But that could all change if Pennsylvania’s coffers for road projects get a little fill-up, PennDOT says.

The agency has committed to making Route 222 a four-lane highway from Reading to Kutztown if legislators adopt Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to boost transportation funds through increases in wholesale gasoline taxes and structural changes to PennDOT.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=452737

Northern Berks Regional To Cut 1 Officer, Keep 2 Older Cars

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bowing to pressure to cut costs, the Northern Berks Regional Police Commission is going to trim one police officer and forgo plans to replace two of the department’s older cars.

The commission unanimously approved a $1.95 million budget Wednesday that keeps spending at 2012 levels and is nearly $290,000 less than the draft version presented earlier this month.

The police commission, composed of elected officials from Ontelaunee and Maidencreek townships and Leesport, said the municipalities could not afford to pay more for police coverage in 2013 and earlier this month asked the department to find places to cut costs.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=439234

Untapped Resource: Natural Gas In Berks

A local role in the state’s natural gas drilling boom isn’t quite as far-fetched as it was a month ago, now that a federal report has identified some potential for an untapped supply beneath southern Berks County.

The natural gas in question is contained in the South Newark Basin. Its western tip lies under a triangular wedge of Berks that includes Douglassville, Birdsboro and Exeter Township, according to the report issued in June by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS estimated that 785 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas could be in the basin.

But several factors make drilling in Berks appear to be a long shot.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=404511

Planners Want To Expand Project At Routes 222, 73

Berks Countytransportation planners want to expand the effort to improve the Routes 222 and 73

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

intersection in Maidencreek Township to include widening a traffic choke point approaching the crossing.

The additional work would involve widening a milelong stretch of Route 222 to two lanes in each direction from where the limited-access highway ends in Ontelaunee Township to the Route 73 intersection. A bridge on the stretch also would need to be replaced.

PennDOT would need to move money around in its budget for Berks County to free up $705,000 for engineering plans needed for the work.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=399048