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Construction work affecting Baptist Road in Whitehall

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:08 p.m.

A myriad of construction projects and detours across the South Hills likely has triggered the long delays and backups along Baptist Road in Whitehall, officials said.

After construction season, though, officials said they might ask the state officials to re-look at the road to see if a right-hand turning lane can be added near Norwin Road heading toward Brownsville Road.

For now, the delays that many are experiencing, likely are the cause of construction projects in other municipalities.

“It's a perfect storm. The road works not actually being done in Whitehall Borough, but you have Broughton Road closed. You have a bridge out on Curry Hollow Road, you have the intersection down there in South Park that's dug up and you've got Brownsville Road,” said police Chief Donald Dolfi, who answered council members questions about the delays during their meeting last week. “With all of these detours... this is the cut through.”

Councilman Phil Lahr said he would like to see a larger right-hand turning lane on Baptist heading towards Brownsville Road.

State officials in the past have turned down the idea, leaders said.

“They deem it's not wide enough,” Dolfi said.

Whitehall officials could do a traffic count at the intersection once construction season ends to begin the process, Dolfi said.

“Obviously, it's up to council if they want to ask the state to take another look at it,” the police chief said.

Another extension

Whitehall leaders have agreed for the fourth time to extend a service agreement for the Pleasant Hills authority, to give leaders additional time to hash out a new deal.

The three-month extension, approved by borough council in a unanimous vote last week, extends the decades old pact between the authority's four contributory communities through September 30.

Municipalities in the Pleasant Hills Authority service area include Pleasant Hills, Baldwin Borough, Whitehall and South Park. They four municipalities are working to comply with the state Department of Environmental protection's consent decree to reduce overflow issues. Part of the consent decree is for the municipalities to approve a service agreement with the Pleasant Hills Authority.

Salt prices to rise

Cargill Inc., which provides rock salt to the Whitehall Borough and other communities in the South Hills Area Council of Government joint purchasing alliance, has agreed to a second option year in the contract, borough Manager James Leventry told council members last week.

The cost of rock salt will increase for the 2013-14 winter season to $57.52 per ton, from $56.69, Leventry said. That is a 1.47 percent increase, based on the last 12 months.

Sewage agreement

Whitehall Council has approved plans for the replacement of sewers lines and the construction of an equalization tank that will improve conveyance capacity in the sewage system, leaders said.

The work will be completed together with Baldwin Borough. Council members approved a resolution for the plans in a unanimous vote last week. The plans now will be submitted to the state Department of Environmental Protection, officials said.

The boroughs, both which are part of the Pleasant Hills Authority service area, are under a consent decree from the DEP to reduce overflow issues in the system.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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