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Richland to spend $350K to rebuild pickleball courts


Recognizing an especially popular township recreation asset, Richland Township is moving forward with full reconstruction of its pickleball courts in Robert Keller Park, adjacent to the municipal complex on California Road, at an estimated cost of $350,000.

The action was taken as a consensus of the board of supervisors at the July 8 public meeting, following presentation of a comprehensive report on the matter by their township engineer.

The supervisors will review the matter again for final approval of actual cost and who performs the work. The estimated cost is covered by the current budget for the township’s Parks and Recreation Department, which is fed by contributions from developers in exchange for minor concessions on development projects.

The option for full reconstruction, expected to last for at least 35 years, was selected over cracks repair, for an estimated life of 10 years, at a cost of $25,000 to $50,000. Also not selected was adding an overlay to crack repair to provide a 10 to 20 year lifespan at a cost of $250,000 to $300,000.

The full reconstruction would utilize existing fencing and replace shade barriers with new ones.

The engineer’s report noted that the courts were converted from tennis courts between 2012 and 2016. Field investigation revealed sub-grade conditions consistent with mapping by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Testing was performed to determine the thickness and stability of the asphalt surfaces and sub-base stone.

Moderate to severe cracking “was observed throughout most of the court surfaces, with cracks up to 1-in. thick causing uneven surfaces.”

In addition, “awning foundations have severely spalled and degraded in several locations.”

Full-depth replacement of the asphalt surface is recommended, including “installation of a stone subbase with augmented drainage system,” along with replacement of the awning foundations.

In another recreation matter, supervisors approved the concept of the use of Brickyard Pond, off Heller Road, for an open-water swim by Mission Multisport, a Lehigh Valley triathlon group.

Only triathlon swimmers would be allowed to use the pond as a training facility, and they’ll be limited to 10 to 15 participants, for a maximum of three hours, three or four times per month, from late May to early October.

Final approval is subject to confirmation of insurance, health, and safety considerations, including lifeguards. Anglers who fish at the pond would also be provided with sufficient notice.

In the “next step” in its ongoing efforts to deal with truck traffic disruptions, supervisors authorized their engineer to conduct a weight restriction study for sections of Reservoir Road, California Road and Portzer Road.

“We’re not against commerce,” reiterated Supervisor Tim Arnold. “Some of our roads just can’t handle heavy rigs, and we want to get them around to the proper roads.”

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