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Penn Twp. plans to get paving done, with a little help

| Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011

Penn Township Manager Bruce Light said he's optimistic the township's road paving project will be completed this year, even if it requires outside help.

Light said the project got off to a "rocky" start when internal parts of the township's 23-year-old paving machine broke before asphalt work could be completed on Walton Road, the first of the three roads ticketed for paving this year. The project was delayed for about a month after it was rebid, which netted a savings of $72,735.

Meanwhile, the other two roads -- Pine Hollow Road and First Street Extension -- have been milled but not sealed, making dust an ongoing problem for residents.

Light said replacement parts for the paving machine are no longer sold. No rental pavers are available, and paving companies' schedules are full, he said.

With a little ingenuity, crews were able to finish Walton Road.

"Fortunately, where we were on Walton Road was level or downhill," Light said. "We pulled the paver with a chain and a one-ton truck. ... We got in there and got it done."

Light said it will take about two weeks to complete the paving of the other two roads, and outside sources have offered help.

Hempfield has agreed to loan Penn Township its year-old paving machine for a few days.

Mike Volpe, Hempfield's public works director, said Penn Township crews helped in Hempfield's recovery efforts from the tornado on March 23. Hempfield's public works department will be busy preparing for Saturday's Community Day, and its paver would be available. However, rain is in the forecast all week.

"They helped us out," Volpe said. "We wanted to help our neighbor out because they helped us during the tornado. Both our manager and their manager are working together on the details, but it won't happen this week."

Light said Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co. offered to loan Penn Township a new paver for up to two weeks, but first it must be transported from Harrisburg.

Next week, the Penn Township public works department will be preparing for the township's fall festival on Sept. 16 and 17, so workers won't be able to pave. Light said he told Cleveland Brothers the township would like to have a paver for Sept. 20.

While apologizing to residents, Light said he's thankful for the help that's been offered.

"That's very reassuring," he said.

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