The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 10, 2012

Meridian project hits another snag

LEWISBURG — The Penn House Commons project in East Buffalo Township has hit another snag as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation rejected a requested exception from the developer’s engineer to keep shoulder widths for North 15th Street as they are despite not meeting federal highway recommendations.

Howard Schlesinger, principal with Meridian Development Partners, said a meeting is being planned for Meridian, PennDOT and township officials toward the end of October “to discuss this decision and see what alternatives and creative solutions we can come up with, together, on solving this condition.”

At issue are the shoulder widths for North 15th Street in the planned Penn House Commons project. As drawn, they do not meet federal highway recommendations and, therefore, federal money could not be used for them.

Wider shoulders would call for as much as 12 feet more: one 6-foot shoulder and one 4-foot shoulder plus an additional foot in each travel lane.

This was the only exception Meridian requested, Schlesinger said. PennDOT administers the federal grant funding that would be used for this work.

“Insufficient justification” was the reason PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration said no to the exception, said Ralph Hess, township planning and zoning director, who gave the township supervisors the news Monday.

“That was their words,” Hess said in reference to the two agencies. “There is specific criteria that has to be met,” he said, and PennDOT and others said there wasn’t enough reason to justify an exception.

North 15th Street is classified as an “urban connector street” rather than local road that is used mainly by residents, said James Buck, a township supervisor. Many motorists use 15th Street to travel to and from Routes 192 and 45.

The township supervisors haven’t signed any final contract agreements on the Penn House Commons project, which was proposed four years ago and would convert roughly 42 acres of the former Pennsylvania House land into commercial and residential properties. The supervisors voted within the last month to rezone the property for this purpose.

“We thought we understood the scope of the work” for the project, Buck said, but the exception ruling “essentially just changed that. The ball is back in our court again as far as what we want to do.”

Buck had said in May that if the exception wasn’t granted, the most likely thing to happen would be improvements to 15th Street without using federal funds.

“The decision doesn’t mean 15th Street has to have six-foot shoulders,” Buck said Wednesday. “It means federal highway money can’t be used” for this part of the project.

“We could focus on the intersection with the light, and other parts of 15th Street could be addressed using private funding,” he said.

Township officials do not want to exert eminent domain over the property along 15th Street, acquiring and demolishing homes for the sake of the sidewalks, Buck said.

“I don’t see a need for that,” he said. “No on has asked us to do that. Personally, I don’t see it as necessary.”

1
Text Only
News
  • Baby, 3 others hurt in Route 11 crash near Danville

    DANVILLE — Two women, an infant and the baby’s 2-year-old girl sister were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a three-vehicle chain-reaction accident at 3:14 p.m. Friday on Route 11 near Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center in Mahoning Township.

    July 26, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Cameron to spend $12,000 to find new chief

    LEWISBURG — The William Cameron Engine Company will pay a State College consulting firm more than $12,000 to help the Lewisburg fire house find its first paid chief after its first national search to fill the job ended without a new leader.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ann Targonski DA clears officer in Sunbury shooting

    SUNBURY — Three shots from a Taser could not stop 390-pound Erick Trometter from attacking Sunbury’s then-acting Police Chief Brad Hare with a large filet knife, so the veteran officer drew his gun and shot the 22-year-old city man in the leg, according to a report issued Friday.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • stauffer25br.jpg Area cyclist pedals 4,233 miles in 21 days for race

    Growing up in a Mennonite family, Jesse Stauffer often traveled the roads in Snyder County on a bicycle.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.