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Richland supervisors planning for turning lanes on Route 8

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Richland supervisors have hired Howard Hanna Real Estate Services and H2 Engineering Services of Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, to appraise 17 strips of commercial and residential properties needed for new turning lanes at Route 8 and Ewalt Road.

The supervisors voted Jan. 7 to accept the firms' bids to perform the appraisals at a total cost of about $15,000.

Affected commercial properties include Bakerstown Antiques, Pettinato Chiropractic Center, the Rite Aid pharmacy and Atria's restaurant, all on Route 8.

PennDOT plans to use up to $1.3 million in federal dollars to widen Route 8 and construct new lanes for left turns onto Ewalt Road, plus, a new lane for southbound Route 8 motorists turning onto Cook Road.

In September, PennDOT awarded a contract to construct the traffic improvements to A. Folino Construction Inc. of Oakmont.

Dean Bastianini, manager of Richland Township, expects properties to be acquired this year to clear the way for relocation of utility lines in 2014, and construction of the turning lanes in 2015.

Richland Township is contributing about $1.66 million to the project's estimated $2.9 million cost.

“All of the local contribution is from transportation impact fees, not township tax dollars,” Bastianini said.

Richland already has spent $403,500 in transportation impact fees — collected from developers — on design engineering costs for the forthcoming traffic improvements.

In August, Richland supervisors unanimously approved an agreement with PennDOT to contribute an additional $944,620 to the project to cover the estimated cost of acquiring strips of land and relocating utility lines to accommodate the road improvements.

“It's our responsibility to acquire the rights-of-way,” Bastianini said. “Water, electric and telephone utilities will be relocated from the east to the west side of the road (Route 8).”

Only strips of land will be being taken or reserved for temporary construction easements, according to Bastianini.

“It is important to note that not all of the properties are being acquired,” Bastianini said.

The Folino construction firm has hired Keystone Acquisition Services Corporation of Ross Township to negotiate with affected property owners to determine how much compensation each property owner will receive for their land.

“They'll (Keystone) work with the appraisal firms that we've hired to do this work,” Bastianini said.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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