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Public hearing deadlines loom for Golden Pheasant Bridge rehabilitation plans


PennDOT’s long-gestating plans to rehabilitate the bridge located by the Golden Pheasant Inn have become timely as a number of Tinicum residents raised concerns over impending public hearing access and dates.

The board was aware that PennDOT was considering various design options, but not of timely filing deadlines for community participation in public hearings.

“There were already missed deadlines in June”, stated resident Lary Brandt, “and now, more imminent deadlines are fast approaching. One date we’ve recently learned of is July 28 – by which time we must notify PennDOT of our desire to be involved in their process. The issue is bigger than just the bridge. Do we have property values, businesses or historic issues to protect here?”

Manager Teri Lewis had a received notification letter and registration form last January, inviting the board of supervisors to be a consulting party at any 2022 public hearings. She returned this form on behalf of the board and stated that, going forward, she would reach out to PennDOT “so we don’t miss any other deadlines.”

The fact that PennDOT had “restored” the Golden Pheasant Bridge just three years prior was raised. Chair Rosamilia acknowledged that this was always PennDOT’s strategic plan – “…a temporary fix for which they are now proposing six restoration alternatives.”

Brandt challenged that PennDOT, in its recent filings, has made no reference including their 2018 bridge repairs. “PennDOT is citing the pre-rehabilitation bridge condition – not the current 2022 condition. Many of us feel the current bridge is adequate. What we need to improve is proper signage, increased safety rules and more restricted truck access.”

Other bridge reconstruction concerns were raised over PennDOT’s possible plans to straighten out and widen the curved bridge, which could encourage more tractor-trailer truck access.

It was stressed in the meeting that regardless what is done, that the Tinicum Board and the community attempt to operate within a consensus mentality. “We should agree as a group, to the greatest extent possible, on one lane or two lane proposals.”

A conversation about Tinicum utilizing the plethora of traffic incident data posted on the Pennsylvania State Police website were discussed.

Richard Balukas spoke of “the need for more accurate intelligence using the very best data available to us.” Vice Chair Jim Helms stated his gut opinion that over a year’s time frame, the traffic situation over 107 miles of Tinicum roadways is under control.

Balukas stressed that the board and community should be analyzing the data-rich Pennsylvania State Police online portal. Their site features a Community Access to Information Dashboard (CAID) which logs detailed crash and enforcement data by every Pennsylvania county, including all of Tinicum. “We should be utilizing this readily available state police data to factually and accurately pinpoint township trouble spots. We can then explore what resources and solutions are needed to target road safety.”

Rosamilia agreed that the township should indeed obtain and analyze state police data to help identify where the traffic issues are occurring and what specifically is causing them.

Riverside Symphonia’s July 2 Concert Under the Stars has grown markedly in popularity over its decades of celebrating the nation’s birthday with a live concert followed by a massive fireworks display.

One Uhlerstown Hill Road resident petitioned on behalf of his neighborhood for a temporary road closure on the evening of the event, due to “increasing numbers of car convoys and people on foot crossing River Road invading our neighborhood to take advantage of the panoramic view of the fireworks.”

Police Chief Madden was present, agreeing with the proposed road closure request as well as to the placement of “Road Closed” signs on River Road at Uhlerstown Hill Road from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The acquisition of audio/visual hardware and increased Wi-Fi services in order to begin live-streaming supervisors’ meetings has been slowed due to “supply chain issues.” Manager Lewis could not provide a delivery schedule or timeline for completion as of this meeting.

With this added waiting time, Balukas suggested the delay be used to create official operating infrastructure for this new community streaming service. “As this community service will replace the current audio recordings of our meetings, we need to be prepared for how to use the new technology and to keep these digital files stored for perpetuity.”