Snowstorm Leads To Closures, Traffic Accidents Throughout Berks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That darn groundhog.

Within 24 hours of forecasting six more weeks of winter, large dense snowflakes began falling in Berks County early Monday, and the storm continued to drop about an inch an hour before tapering off to flurries about 2:30 p.m.

Blame Phil if you were stuck in traffic behind one of the numerous crashes that occurred through the day or lost power from outages, but remember he wasn’t the only messenger.

Forecasters at AccuWeather, near State college, predicted this storm would bring wet, heavy snow that would affect the morning commute, and did it ever. By 11 a.m., with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees, at least a half a foot of snow had fallen in Berks County.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/news/article/snowstorm-leads-to-closures-traffic-accidents-throughout-berks#.UvA5BvRDsxI

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Pottsgrove Manor To Host Open-Hearth Cooking Workshop

Deb PetersonPottstown, PA On Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 10:00am to 3:00pm, historic Pottsgrove Manor will host an open-hearth cooking workshop entitled “Cast-Iron Chef” in the manor’s reconstructed colonial kitchen.

A common material for cooking equipment in past centuries, cast-iron is experiencing a resurgence in popularity among modern cooks for its durability and versatility. In this hands-on workshop, historic cook Deborah Peterson will teach participants how to cook with and care for cast iron cookware. Historically and seasonally appropriate dishes of the colonial period will be prepared and consumed by the participants.

The workshop is open to participants ages 12 and up, but those under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. There is a fee of $50.00 per person. To ensure one-on-one instruction, the class size is limited to eight. Registration forms may be picked up at Pottsgrove Manor or downloaded online at http://montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/4381.

The workshop is being held in conjunction with Pottsgrove Manor’s current exhibit “Forging a Lifestyle: Ironworking with the Potts Family,” which runs until November 3, 2013 and can be viewed during a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday, 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, & Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

Sanatoga Interchange Development Potential Explored

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP — As the housing and construction market begins to pick-up steam again, township leaders are turning their eyes toward the development potential of land near the Route 422 Sanatoga interchange.

Thursday night, consultant Peter Simone outlined those for the township commissioners options contained in the master plan for the region now under consideration.

Much of the development at that locale is on the Limerick Township side of the road — namely the Philadelphia Outlets and the Costco.

But the two townships have been planning together for further development in that area for several years now, Simone said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130825/NEWS01/130829544/sanatoga-interchange-development-potential-explored#full_story

Reinholds Man Killed When SUV Collides With Tractor-Trailer

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

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

A Reinholds man was killed Friday when his SUV collided with a tractor-trailer on Route 422 just east of Monacacy Hill Road, Amity Township.

Officials said Royce A. Ochs, 65, was driving east shortly before 5:20 a.m. and was rounding a left curve when the rig driver pulled onto the highway from a business on the left side of the road.  Ochs’ SUV hit the rear of the trailer.

Ochs was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Matthew Mears at 6:37 a.m. Ochs died of severe head injuries, and the death has been declared accidental, said Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn Hollenbach.

The rig was operated by Kevin Coulson, 42, of Wyomissing. He was not injured.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=502855

Penn Street Bridge On The Route To Restoration

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the century that the Penn Street Bridge has carried traffic into Reading, not much work other than small-scale repairs have been done to it.

It shows.

Chunks of concrete are missing from its extravagant arches and railings. But more concerning to PennDOT is the deterioration to the beams, deck and supports inside the bridge.

PennDOT plans to start a massive repair in the next couple of years intended to restore Reading’s iconic gateway to its former glory.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=492075

Traffic Clogs And Their Costs, Spot By Spot, Around Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sitting in Berks County traffic can cost you, but how much depends on which jam you’re stuck in.

The authors of a study released last month that found congestion in the Reading and Lehigh Valley areas costs drivers an average of $420 a year released more details Thursday, breaking down which roads were the most costly.

The study was compiled by TRIP, a Washington think tank funded by the transportation industry.

1. Route 422: Between Morwood and Woodside avenues in West Lawn.

Gas (gallons): 19
Time: 45
Cost: $829
Proposed fixes: Intersection, signal upgrades; parallel connector street.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=486340

The 13 Worst Commutes Around Philadelphia

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The only thing I would add is that I might start this at Royersford or Collegeville.  However, I don’t miss that drive after doing it for almost 20 years!

Commuters who drive on Interstate 676 between I-95 and I-76 or on state Route 611 between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95 during rush hour spend 125 hours a year sitting in traffic.

Those are the worst commutes in the region, according to a new report from TRIP, a transportation research group backed by advocates for highway improvements.

Besides the lost hours due to congestion, drivers on those stretches of I-676 and Route 611 also waste 54 gallons of gas per year, TRIP’s report found. Here are the routes the organization says are the worst commutes in the Philadelphia region, based on time and fuel lost due to traffic congestion during peak hours:

3. U.S. Route 422 from U.S. 202 to Egypt Road in Montgomery County:  Drivers lose 67 hours and 29 gallons of gas annually due to congestion; 64,000 to 83,000 daily drivers

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/The-13-worst-commutes-around-Philadelphia.html#Yd4beskKgRTJub4q.99

Route 422 Lane Closures Start Sunday

Westbound U.S. Route 422 at the exit for Stowe...

Westbound U.S. Route 422 at the exit for Stowe, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

KING OF PRUSSIA — PennDOT has announced nighttime lane closures on Route 422 beginning Sunday and lasting through Dec. 21.

Between the Sanatoga and Route 724 interchanges in Lower Pottsgrove and North Coventry, crews will be working Sunday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., causing the right westbound lane to close, Dec. 2 through 21.

A lane will be closed on the eastbound side in the same stretch between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday nights, Dec. 3 through 21.

The right lane of the westbound side will be closed between the Stowe and Route 100 interchanges in North Coventry Dec. 2 through 21 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. with crews working Sunday through Friday.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121201/NEWS01/121139931/route-422-lane-closures-start-sunday-#full_story

Driver Hurt When Rig Rolls Down Embankment Along Route 422

Westbound U.S. Route 422 at the merge onto the...

Image via Wikipedia

A truck driver was critically injured and the westbound lanes of Route 422 in Amity Township were closed Wednesday morning after a tractor-trailer rolled down an embankment along the highway, police said.

Leonard Barnard, 45, of Philadelphia was westbound in a rig hauling produce about 5:15 a.m. when he lost control near River Bridge Road, just west of the merge ramp from the Pottstown Bypass, police said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=366826

For Berks County Farmers, It’s Location, Location, Location

Unusual strains of maize are collected to incr...

Image via Wikipedia

Who would have ever thought proximity to Route 422 would be a litmus test for a good corn crop?  Certainly not I.  However, that is the case in Berks County.  Farms south of 422 are in good shape and farms north of 422 are suffering. 

July’s above normal temperatures, coupled with a lack of rain has caused tremendous damage to corn crops in Berks County located north of 422.  Farms south of 422 received more rain and the clay-like soil holds moisture better.  Most farms in Berks County do not use irrigation to water crops.

Berks County is not the only place where the corn crop is doing poorly.  Nationwide it is estimated that corn yields will be down 40 percent!  This translates into higher prices at the supermarket for you and I!

Another casualty of the heat has been milk production.  Cows do not like heat (sounds familiar) and when they are hot they eat less and produce less milk!

Lower Providence Township Opposes 422 Tolling Plan

The Lower Providence Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution opposing 422 tolling on Thursday evening.

To read the entire article and watch a video, check out the coverage from the Times Herald:

http://www.timesherald.com/articles/2011/07/08/news/doc4e172332ad403860680019.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Another Pottstown area bridge closure!

Southbound Pennsylvania Route 100 (Pottstown P...

Image via Wikipedia

The High Street bridge is now closed over the Manatawny Creek in downtown Pottstown.  The detour is College Drive to South Hanover Street.  You could also use King Street.  The High Street bridge will remain closed for one year while it is replaced.

The Route 100 bridge over the Schuylkill River is still under construction and traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction.

More bridge work is scheduled for two 422 bridges in West and Lower Pottsgrove Townships.

The Keim Street bridge is on the replacement list but that is some years down the road and will remain closed.

Costco To Anchor The Gateway At Sanatoga Shopping Center

This is a logo for Costco.

Image via Wikipedia

Costco is coming to Limerick Township!  The new store will be an anchor in the Gateway at Sanatoga Shopping Center, which is now under construction, next to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets.

According to the website, the center will be 412,000 square feet and feature a Costco, 170,000 square feet of in-line retail space, 6 restaurants, 1 cinema, 2 banks and a hotel.  When combined with the Philadelphia Premium Outlets there will 1,000,000 square feet of retail space, upon completion, at this location.

http://www.oneillproperties.com/pdf/51149-Sanatoga-Fly-Sheet-050709_proof.pdf

Double Murder In Amity Township

This is really weird, especially because of the silence being maintained on what happened and that Amity isn’t exactly a hotbed of crime so murder is very rare and a double murder….

I hope this is wrapped up quickly and whoever is responsible is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=215964

I-80 Tolls Are Back On The Agenda

Looks like another push is in the works for making Interstate 80 a toll road. If this doesn’t happen, it will jeopardize road work here in the Pottstown area on 422. Evidently, future improvements to 422 would be funded, at least in part, from the profits made by making I-80 a toll road.

The powers that be figure maybe Obama will bite. Hmmmm… time will tell!