SELINSGROVE — Borough officials in Selinsgrove agreed to pay for one-sixth of the cost to maintain a traffic signal as part of the southern section of the $865 million Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project.
At the monthly Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee meeting, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation assistant plans engineer Matt Beck informed members that the borough sent a letter this week about the proposed traffic signal to accommodate northbound Routes 11-15 traffic from the existing bypass to southbound Route 522. If Snyder County pays for half of the cost, the three municipalities of Selinsgrove, Penn Township and Monroe Township would be responsible for the remaining half.
"That signal will be included in CSVT as long as local governments agree to own it and are responsible for maintenance and energy costs," said Beck. "That's the way traffic signals are stipulated in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code."
The traffic signal would allow northbound traffic direct access to southbound Route 522 rather than keep the current route which requires motorists to continue traveling north on Routes 11-15 and reverse direction using the existing jug handle around Sheetz. While PennDOT would pay to install the traffic light, Beck said, Pennsylvania's vehicle code requires a local governmental entity to own and maintain the light.
Snyder County and other municipal officials have not yet committed to their portion of the bill, which is estimated to be between $2,000 to $3,000 a year. If none of them accept ownership and responsibility, the traffic signal would not be installed, Beck said.
Snyder County Commissioner Chairman Joe Kantz and Monroe Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Dean K. Davis, who are both members of the committee, said they want to sit down with Penn Township to discuss the matter further.
"Personally, I question it, but it will depend on the county and Penn Township," said Davis.
Kantz said the county is favorable toward the traffic signal.
"Everybody needs to have a little skin in the game if we're going to be partnering," said Kantz.
Beck said PennDOT would be asking for the local governments' final position later this year so PennDOT can move forward with the final design of the southern section.