2011-05-05 / Local & State

Dublin Township Wins Road Safety Improvement Award

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS


Participating in the presentation were, left: Shirl Barnhart, PSATS’ secretary-treasurer; Craig Reed, director of PennDOT’s Bureau of Municipal Services; Jeffrey Croft, chairman of the Dublin Township Board of Supervisors; and Jason Wagner, managing director of PHIA. Participating in the presentation were, left: Shirl Barnhart, PSATS’ secretary-treasurer; Craig Reed, director of PennDOT’s Bureau of Municipal Services; Jeffrey Croft, chairman of the Dublin Township Board of Supervisors; and Jason Wagner, managing director of PHIA. Dublin Township received an honorable mention award in the 29th Annual Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest, presented at the 89th Annual Educational Conference of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors in Hershey April 17-20. The conference attracted attendees from every county in Pennsylvania except Philadelphia, which has no townships. Dublin Township was recognized for a bridge replacement project.

The township association sponsors the statewide Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest each year in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association and the state Department of Transportation to recognize townships for their extensive contributions of time and effort in making roads and bridges safer.

Dublin Township replaced a 60-year-old single-lane, deteriorating span with a twolane concrete box beam bridge. The old bridge was a low-flow crossing on Boy Scout Road consisting of a dozen reinforced drainage pipes encased in concrete. The bridge not only flooded during heavy rains but also had no approach guiderails or barriers to keep vehicles on it.

“The bridge is the primary entrance to a Boy Scout camp and seven residences on that road,” says Jeffrey Croft, chairman of the Dublin Township Board of Supervisors. “Water covered the bridge after every big storm. The rule of thumb was, ‘If you can see the bridge, go for it.’”

Croft says that although it was dangerous to cross the flooded bridge, drivers would do it to avoid a nearly sevenmile alternate route on a winding road that was barely wider than a single vehicle. The residents, especially, did not want to take the detour to access their mailboxes, which are located on the main road before turning onto Boy Scout Road.

The camp serves Scouts from a four-state region and also hosts non-Scouting youths and other organizations, plus special community events. The venue attracts thousands of campers each year. During Scouting events, the one-lane bridge caused traffic backups and delays as campers tried to reach their destination.

Heavy rains caused additional safety hazards at the bridge. Anyone entering the creek upstream of the bridge was in danger of being swept downstream and pulled into the pipes due to increased water velocity. This actually occurred a few times when public works crews were cleaning debris from the pipes.

The new bridge accommodates two-way traffic and sits higher above the creek bed, allowing for greater capacity during heavy storms.

“With all the rain we’ve been having, there’s been no flooding whatsoever at the bridge,” Croft says.

The two-lane structure also includes shoulders and concrete barriers for pedestrian and bike crossing. The Scouts particularly like these features because they use the bridge to access the camp’s athletic fields.

“The Boy Scouts are definitely grateful for the new bridge,” Croft says. “We have heard a lot of good comments about it. People feel much safer crossing the creek now.”

“The new bridge is gorgeous,” he adds. “It’s a beautiful addition to Dublin Township. We’re all very proud to have been considered for this award.”

The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,455 townships of the second class and for the past 90 years has been committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class represent more residents – 5.5 million Pennsylvanians – than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth.

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