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Resident asks Murrysville to take back School Road South

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, 3:57 p.m.

According to resident David Nader, School Road has “two sides to it: one that gets all the attention, and the other side that's often abandoned.”

Nader was referring to the maintenance split along the road. School Road North is owned and maintained by Murrysville; School Road South is owned and maintained by the state, and Nader said the difference between the two is stark, particularly when it comes to winter maintenance.

“It's disheartening to see how wonderfully Murrysville takes care of School Road North, and how poorly PennDOT has taken care of School Road South,” Nader said.

Both Nader and council President Joan Kearns referred to several stretches of School Road South where the roadside berm drops several feet.

“It's an accident waiting to happen,” Kearns said.

Nader wants the municipality to take back ownership — and maintenance — of the road through PennDOT's Turnback program.

Murrysville Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said it's not that simple.

“The issue is what PennDOT considers (road) standards and what Murrysville considers standards are not the same thing,” Morrison said. “It becomes a long-term issue for the municipality because it doesn't meet the standard for our roads. So there's a lot of different factors involved in that.”

Mayor Bob Brooks said municipal officials have spoken to PennDOT about contracting to perform maintenance on School Road South.

“We've even offered to do that stretch of road, for a price,” Brooks said. “But so far, they won't give us a nickel.”

PennDOT spokeswoman Valerie Petersen said they are aware of Nader's request, and that the department's municipal services unit will reach out to Murrysville officials.

From 2012 to 2016, PennDOT has recorded 24 crashes along School Road South. None of those crashes resulted in fatalities or major injuries, Petersen said.

Nader said he's not too proud to beg.

“Work with PennDOT. Talk to them,” he said. “When you say you care so much about your residents, I believe it. But the other sides of the tracks on School Road has really been forgotten.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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