Friday, June 26, 2009

High Street getting attention it needs

On Monday, June 22, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation started an $852,600 project to pave and upgrade High Street. The anticipated completion date is Oct. 2, barring any serious weather interruptions. Some preparation work has already started, with curbs being cut out at the Mount Joy Street intersection and being readied for handicapped access, and work on water, sewer and gas lines will begin shortly.

PennDOT's plan is to pave all of West High Street, from Masonic Drive, to the square. Borough Manager Pete Whipple said about 75 percent of the length of East High Street will be paved. He said PennDOT is going to evaluate all sections of the street to determine if they need to be milled down and paved from scratch, or if the current asphalt is in good enough condition simply to be paved over.

Because High Street is a state-owned road, this project is entirely under PennDOT's purview and responsibility. The agency bid the project (the winning bidder was Pennsy Supply from Harrisburg), and it is managing the project -- the borough has no oversight of it. While the borough and the Elizabethtown Area Water Authority will be doing some work on water and sewer lines, and UGI will work on gas lines, there are no local tax dollars paying directly for the project.

The borough is pleased that PennDOT is undertaking the project, particularly since West High Street is in dire need of paving. Whipple said the borough has been inquiring when PennDOT would pave West High Street for the better part of 10 years. East High Street was not part of the request.

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