Officials consider new road near Branthoover Cut-Off in Murrysville
While they consider closing a portion of Branthoover Cut-Off, Murrysville officials also are thinking about creating a new road nearby.
Council is considering closing a portion of the road — from the entrance to Leone's Pet Supply to Old William Penn Highway — and building a new connection between the jug-handle portions of the road to Old William Penn Highway. The jug handle would remain open, Murrysville chief administrator Jim Morrison said.
About 900 cars travelled on the road during a two-day study, Council President Joan Kearns said.
“That's not an insignificant amount of cars using that access,” Kearns said. “We need to make sure we do the right thing.”
The potential road closure comes after a Churchill couple sued the municipality after a 2009 traffic accident. Council considered closing the road in 2005 but opted to keep it open because there was no significant accident history, Morrison said.
Officials have considered posting signs restricting left turns onto the road but worry that drivers might be confused because of nearby Andrews Lane.
“Obviously, we don't like this intersection,” municipal engineer Joe Dietrick said. “The geometry of Branthoover along with Andrews is very difficult. Any signage is going to cause confusion.”
Instead, officials think realigning the road to require a 90-degree turn on or off of Old William Penn might be a better answer — even if it is substantially more expensive.
Closing a portion of the road would cost about $4,000, Morrison said. However, building the new connection could cost as much as $100,000 because of permit costs and acquiring property rights.
Council is slated to vote to close the road May 1. If approved, movable barricades would be put in place at the sharp turn onto Old William Penn and near the back entrance to Leone's Animal Supply store, Dietrick said. Eventually, permanent barriers would be put in place, he said.
However, if the road is closed this spring or summer, the new road wouldn't be built immediately. Solicitor George Kotjarapoglus said council has a “reasonable time period” to decide what to do, up to a “couple of years, so long as you are pursuing something.”
The state Department of Transportation will be consulted for any changes, Dietrick said, as the department owns the jug-handle portion of the road.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.