Hazardous Route 51 conditons

concern Forward  supervisors

By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer Hazardous road conditions along Route 51 in Forward Township have township commissioners concerned. Commissioners spent much of their regular meeting Thursday discussing the dangerous conditions at various crossings along the four-lane highway, prompted by a recent letter from Penn DOT. The letter, dated Sept. 16, turned down a request from the township that the state put signs at Guffey Road prohibiting motorists from crossing two lanes and a center island to make turns onto the opposite side of the highway. Supervisor Dave Magiske, who made the request to the department in July, said the state claims there is sufficient line-of-sight visibility for motorists to make the crossing. I don't know how anybody could possibly make that decision but they did, said Magiske, who vowed he would go back to Penn DOT to ask them to reconsider. When he does, he said he will take with him a letter he recently received from the son of a woman who was killed at the crossroads, asking that something be done to make the intersection safer. The immediate area around the intersection has been the scene of numerous collisions. We've had about 10 or 12 deaths there in the last 10 years,board of supervisors Chairman Tom DeRosa said. Hazardous conditions at the intersection at Roberts Hollow Road also were discussed at the meeting. Dangers presented at that junction include illegally parked vehicles and unclear road surface markings, residents said. Supervisor Tom Headley said one of the biggest problems along Route 51 is speeding. Older drivers with slower reaction times have trouble puling onto the highway where drivers travel well over posted highway



speeds, he said. DeRosa said police try to enforce the speed limit, but as soon as they leave the area, drivers begin speeding again. In other business, the supervisors said they are continuing to look ahead at expanding the municipality's sewage system up Wall Road to serve William Penn Elementary School and about 25 homes in that area. The project has an estimated cost of about $1 million. Supervisors said it could be feasible, provided the township can use a $265,000 federal grant through the Clean Water Act and receives county grant funds to cover some of the costs. They said the project is still in the preliminary planning stages. Right now, many residents in the township have septic tanks for treating sewage and waste water. Sewage from homes and businesses connected to the townships limited sewage system is treated at a facility in Elizabeth. Supervisors gave approval to plans by Ron Brizes to build a miniature golf course at Hutchinson Road and Route 51. Brizes said he will buy an 11-acre lot of the Cross family for the venture, which will be called Copperhead Canyon, provided a bank loan is approved. He said construction could begin in November and the golf course could be open by spring. Supervisors said the township has reached a preliminary agreement with its police department for a new three year contract. DeRosa said the new contract is similar to the existing one, giving police a 3 percent annual pay increase. The department has five fulltime and two part-time officers. Also, Magiske said the townships three fire departments Gallatin/Sunnyside, Bunola and Forward Township are starting to coordinate their fund-raising efforts for the first time. In addition to shared fund-raising, he said the departments already have begun training together.

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