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Turnpike construction forces road closure to through-traffic in Milford


Milford Township supervisors in Bucks County have voted to prepare an agreement to close the northern portion of Doerr Road.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission representatives attending the Dec. 4 meeting agreed to work with the township to ensure household water quality to avoid ground water contamination from either road salt or solutions used for winter storm road treatment or construction blasting.

“What the township is trying to do is provide a perimeter between the turnpike and our residents for water quality,” said Supervisor Tom Courduff.

Sound barriers to reduce the noise impact of the turnpike widening project had failed to meet the requirements for construction, Turnpike Commission officials said.

The Turnpike Commission presented its original request to close Doerr Road at a regular supervisors meeting Aug. 7. The plan calls for the Turnpike Commission to create a cul-de-sac, essentially closing Doerr Road to through traffic as part of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike widening and expansion program.

The massive expansion and widening project is estimated to cost $225 million. It creates six lanes from Lansdale to the Lehigh Valley interchanges, replaces six bridges, increases speed limits to 70 mph, creates an inside breakdown lane and widens shoulders in both directions.

Work completion is expected by 2021.

At the August supervisors’ meeting Mark Bonner, a design manager for SAI Consulting Engineers in Harrisburg, said road improvements to Canary and Kumry roads would aim to improve traffic flows in that area and would be funded and completed by the Turnpike Commission.

Access for emergency vehicles including firefighting equipment will be made available to serve Doerr Road residents, officials said.

But Dave Worthington who owns land frontage along Doerr Road complained the proposed stretch slated for closure impacted the use of his property, which is bounded by Walnut Lane and Doerr Road.

Worthington can access his home and land from Walnut Lane, but not from Doerr Road after the road is closed to traffic.

“My second concern is the noise: You are taking value away from my property … and you’re impacting residents’ lives. I can hear it [turnpike noise] now, when the leaves are off the trees. I can’t imagine the people who will be living next to where you are widening,” Worthington said.