Townships to take over winter work on Harts Run Road
Hampton and Indiana townships — not PennDOT — will salt and plow Harts Run Road when snow falls in the coming months.
Hampton Council voted 4-1 on Oct. 23 to perform the winter road maintenance on Harts Run Road, between Green Valley Drive and Route 8, in exchange for $4,900 from PennDOT.
PennDOT previously salted and removed snow on the busy, winding and sporadically steep route.
Indiana Township will salt and plow Harts Run Road from Green Valley Drive to Dorseyville Road, according to Dan Anderson, manager of Indiana Township.
Performing the winter maintenance, however, will cost Hampton nearly $5,000 — above PennDOT's $4,900 reimbursement — in manpower and materials, according to Alex Zarenko, director of the Hampton Township Department of Community Services.
“It's a heavily used roadway,” said Chris Lochner, manager of Hampton Township. “It's not an ideal situation, but the best solution to a problem for our residents.”
Hampton Councilman Cary Montgomery, a daily driver on Harts Run Road, cast the lone “no” vote to take over the road's winter care. Montgomery expressed concern over the liability Hampton Township will assume, for example, if a Hampton salt truck damages someone's property on Harts Run Road. “The state was responsible for winter maintenance on Harts Run road and I believe they should remain accountable,” Montgomery said. “Citizens have been driving this road for years, and with appropriate speed, in any conditions, it is functionally adequate.”
Montgomery also objected to the benefit versus the cost of maintaining Harts Run Road this coming winter.
“Our salt budget is exhausted by a large amount already this year, according to Mr. Larry Speakman,” Montgomery said, referring to the Hampton Township controller.
Other council members viewed the decision to take over ice control and snow removal on Harts Run Road as a needed public service.
“Most of our complaints about snow removal come on Harts Run Road,” said Victor Son, president of Hampton Council.
PennDOT already pays Hampton Township about $24,000 to salt and plow about 20 miles of state-maintained routes in the township. Those roads include Ferguson, Sample, McCully, Hardt, West Hardies, East Hardies and Wildwood-Sample roads, Wildwood Road Extension, Wildwood and Mt. Royal Boulevard.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.