Lancaster County To Get Over $500K In Drilling Impact Fee

Lancaster County will receive a little over half a million dollars as its 2014 share of the so-called drilling Impact Fee, meant to help municipalities offset impacts associated with natural gas drilling.

The Impact Fee, or Act 13, was signed into effect in 2012 by Governor Tom Corbett.  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is responsible for collecting a fee from drillers and  then disbursing it to counties across the state to facilitate improvement programs and various repairs or infrastructure upgrades.

Lancaster county’s 2014 share is $507,694.29  from the state’s total of $223.5 million. The amount is marginally higher than what the county received in 2013. State-wide collection was marginally less than what it got in 2013.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/lancaster-county-to-get-over-k-in-drilling-impact-fee/article_58ab90e4-1085-11e5-829b-53ec2990bfa9.html

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PennDOT Expects $272 Million In District Road Work This Year

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will start or continue several major projects on local roads and bridges this year as it spends an estimated $272 million to give drivers a smoother, safer ride.

There will be plenty of inconvenience on the way in District 11, which includes Allegheny Beaver and Lawrence counties. PennDOT officials at a briefing this morning stressed the importance of safe driving, including adhering to work zone speed limits.

Specific announcements of road and bridge closures or restrictions will come as the events draw nearer, officials said.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2015/03/16/PennDOT-expects-272-million-in-road-work-this-year/stories/201503160147

Montco Official Says Keim Street Bridge Project Moving Forward

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

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

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Not that she needed a reminder that all politics are local, but Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards still remembers one of the first calls she got on the historic night she and Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro made history by being the first Democrats to take the majority in 100 years.

“I’ll never forget one of the first calls I got on election night,” she said March 24 as she, Shapiro and Commissioner Bruce Castor conducted the last of their roundtable meetings around the county, this one at the Lower Pottsgrove Township Building.

“I said ‘hello’ and the voice on the other end said ‘so when is the new Keim Street Bridge going to be finished?’”

The answer, she gave Monday, is that the project is “moving forward.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140331/montco-official-says-keim-street-bridge-project-moving-forward

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Fee Could Raise $4M For NEPA Counties

Northeastern Pennsylvania‘s seven counties could collect more than $4 million per year for transportation projects starting next year if officials assess an optional $5 vehicle registration fee on their residents.

The state’s $2.3 billion transportation bill authorizes counties to collect the optional fee. State Department of Transportation records show the region’s drivers registered 826,694 vehicles in 2012.

Leaders in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, which together could collect $2.36 million of that total, initially sounded more open to the idea than their more rural counterparts.

“Right now, we are reviewing the legislation and taking a look at it, so we just started that process,” said Jim Wansacz, chairman of the Lackawanna County commissioners. “We’ll see what can be done and what type of revenue would be associated with it.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/fee-could-raise-4m-for-nepa-counties-1.1619430

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Potential Closing Of Arcola Road Bridge Stirs Controversy In Lower Providence

Location of Lower Providence Township in Montg...

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

LOWER PROVIDENCE — More than 600 residents crowded into the Arcola Intermediate School auditorium Monday night to learn when the Arcola Road bridge over Perkiomen Creek will close to traffic.

If the bridge passes a Friday inspection and subsequent, six-month inspections, the bridge will close at the beginning of 2015 and be closed while a new $7.7 million, three-lane bridge is built in the same location.

“We’ve had many partners on this project,” said Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairman Josh Shapiro said. “You will see leaders who are all working together to address our infrastructure needs.  Sixty-two of our Montgomery County bridges are structurally deficient.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chairman Leslie Richards said the bridge built in 1931 was “functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.  There is a weight limit of three tons.  It was placed on a six-month inspection schedule.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130812/NEWS01/130819905/potential-closing-of-arcola-road-bridge-stirs-controversy-in-lower-providence?nstrack=sid:772346|met:300|cat:0|order:1#full_story

Troubled Bridge Project A Headache, Wilkes-Barre Resident Says

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — One resident of the city’s Miners Mills section thinks the city jumped the gun by knocking down a bridge and cutting off the regular flow of traffic in the largely residential neighborhood.

Joe Gibbons Jr., of Coon Street, said the Sydney Street Bridge replacement project has been unattended for about two weeks. The span crossed Mill Creek.

Contractors closed the Coon and Sidney streets three-way intersection and then tore down the bridge in preparation for the reconstruction — now stalled because of a funding mixup.

Coon runs parallel with North Washington Street and connects Beatty and Sidney streets.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/645753/Troubled-bridge-project-a-headache-W-B-resident-says

Letter May Signal Movement On Keim Street Bridge Project

Editor’s note:  Replacing this bridge won’t happen soon enough!

POTTSTOWN — After being closed to traffic for nearly three years, the Keim Street Bridge project is seeing signs of life.

A letter sent to the borough council invites it to choose a volunteer to participate on a committee that will look at the historical significance of the area surrounding the Keim Street Bridge.

The letter was sent Lansdale based CHRS Inc., a company that specializes in making sure building projects comply with state and federal laws on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

For residents and businesses on both sides of the bridge looking for an end to the waiting period, some movement on the project could finally begin.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130511/NEWS01/130519888/letter-may-signal-movement-on-keim-street-bridge-project#full_story

After Long Wait, Birdsboro Gets Its Bridge Work

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

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

A delayed project to replace the Birdsboro Bridge that carries Route 345 over the Schuylkill River is getting the green light.

PennDOT officials said the work is supposed to start next Monday and take about two years. The span, which connects Birdsboro and Exeter Township and handles about 8,400 vehicles a day, will remain open while a new one is built just west of it.

The $14.5 million project was supposed to start in March but was delayed by the discovery that the area around the bridge is a habitat for red-bellied turtles, a threatened species. That required additional planning.

At the same time, PennDOT also needed to negotiate with nearby property owners to obtain rights-of-way.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=415101

High Street Bridge Reopens Friday – Cross One Pottstown Area Construction Project Off The List

The High Street Bridge reopened Friday afternoon with minimal fanfare.  The bridge was completely rebuilt and the project was finished five months ahead of schedule!  Do we have any other projects for these people to work on?  Maybe they should get the Keim Street bridge contract!!!

Meanwhile, Route 100 bridge work is still ongoing and some other projects are scheduled to begin down the road.  At least one item has been completed before anything else starts!

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen for doing an awesome job!

Keim Street Bridge Replacement Vote Tabled By Montgomery County Commissioners

I just read the Fishwrap‘s latest Keim Street bridge article.  I am left scratching my head.  If the quote in the article is correct, then we are lead to believe that the Montgomery County Commissioners learned of this “change of heart” in the newspaper.  Naturally they tabled the vote to approve the engineering contract.  Sadly, the $247,992 contract was going to a Pottstown area business.

Nobody thought calling Norristown to tell them about this “new thinking” would be prudent?  Instead, the commissioners were left to “read all about it” in the newspaper!  WTH!  This proposal should have been discussed “off-line” with the township and the county before any of this information was made public.

And while we’re at it, has anybody polled the North Coventry Township Supervisors or residents?  The Keim Street bridge does connect them to Pottstown so they may have some thoughts on the matter.  Were the township supervisors left to “read about it in the paper” as well?  So much for thinking “regionally”.

No wonder this town never gets any respect from the county.  What kind of message does this send?  Not a very positive one.  It’s like Alice In Wonderland, we just went down another rabbit hole.

COMMUNICATION people!

UPDATE!  North Coventy officials are PISSED!  Check this out!  http://www.pottstownmercury.com/articles/2011/08/11/news/doc4e449dba87aa2669813071.txt

Keim Street Bridge Comments By Councilor Jody Rhoads From Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting

The following comments were made by Councilor Rhoads on August 3rd, at the Committee of the Whole Meeting during the Pottstown Borough Council’s discussion about the Keim Street Bridge situation.  There is debate about whether Council should stop pushing PennDOT to replace the Keim Street Bridge and seek other alternative solutions that are cheaper and have a better chance of being approved.

What I would like to see, with all the studies and tons of money that has been spent over the years on studies, studies, studies, is the county (Montgomery) send a survey out to all the people in the area who have been using the bridge.  I have heard a lot of complaints since the bridge was closed.  A lot of people want to see it open. 

That bridge was there a long time.  I believe before I was born.  The Keim Street Bridge is the in middle of both of these improvements (the Stowe and Armand Hammer Blvd interchanges) and for this revitalization that has been talked about for probably over 25 years, Bethlehem Steel* is there, if that does ever go.  That access in and out of town in important.  As far as I am concerned, it is there and to take that bridge away I think would do us harm.  There is a lot of traffic that goes up and down Keim Street.  That is an important road.  *The former Bethlehem Steel site is now the Pottstown Industrial Complex.

Hanover Street (the interchange) has no entrance to westbound 422.  That is a deficiency.  If there were some changes there, I know there are houses right there in South Pottstown.  At least if there was an entrance to 422 westbound there, that would help somewhat. 

You are talking about improvements at either end of Industrial Highway, but there is nothing in the middle.  I think this is important.  Keim Street does have, it is all there, (the ability) to go west as it is now.  You could go over it (Keim Street Bridge) and go west.

Others do not live here, we do.  Once the bridge is gone, it is not coming back, I will guarantee you that.  If it is in the background hanging in limbo, that chance is in the future, who knows what the future brings.

Once it is gone, you know how that works….

Pottstown’s High Street Bridge Replacement Progress

Here are some pictures of the High Street Bridge, which is being replaced, so you can see the progress that has been made to date.  Looks like things are moving along well.  You can see how they have made a portable dam around the support beam.

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.