Key improvements for Richland traffic flow in place
Richland Township and U.S. Cold Storage are still negotiating a variety of ordinance compliance issues related to the construction and use of a new warehouse on Heller Road at E. Pumping Station Road.
In particular, the next presentation on the subject, scheduled for the
Oct. 14 board of supervisors meeting, is to include the amount of the company’s lump sum contribution toward meeting various requirements mandated by the now-approved land development plan.
Also scheduled is consideration of a tax abatement opportunity for the developer.
However, certain key improvements, designed to mitigate the expected significant increase in tractor-trailer traffic, are already established as to be provided by the developer. These road improvements, to be credited against the lump sum, include:
- Providing more room for turning, and adding a northbound California Road right-turn lane, at E. Pumping Station Road, based on maintaining the current location of the existing westbound E. Pumping Station Road stop bar at the three-way stop-controlled intersection;
- Widening California Road at the intersection with W. Pumping Station Road, to provide a 300-foot- long “runaround lane” on the existing shoulder, to allow northbound California Road traffic to proceed around left-turning vehicles at W. Pumping Station Road;
- Providing a reconstructed shoulder via the new runaround lane, for eastbound trucks to turn left from W. Pumping Station Road, on their way to E. Pumping Station Road, without encroaching on the southbound California Road stop bar location; and
- Providing more room for turning at W. Pumping Station Road and California Road, to reduce any delays associated with trucks waiting for a courtesy gap to turn right off of southbound California Road.
“These key improvements, among others, are designed to make it easier for trucks to go to and from the warehouse site and Route 309, without creating problems for other traffic in the area,” explained Township Manager Steven Sechriest in an interview.
“We don’t yet know the exact number of the tractor-trailer trips to be expected during each 24-hour period, but 250 has been accounted for as a peak number, with moderation expected based on who the warehouse clients turn out to be, and the extent of use of rail deliveries. These road improvements would also be expected to help with already-existing issues deriving from a lot of trucks already coming and going between that area and Route 309.”
The warehouse is to be a 504,581-square-foot facility that the township wants for the estimated 100 new jobs it would bring to the community, and the new tax income it would provide for the township, county, and especially the Quakertown Community School District, whose millage rate for tax year 2013 is 143.92 mills.
In addition to approving the development plan at their Sept. 9 meeting, supervisors voted to advertise a public hearing to be held at their Oct. 14 meeting, concerning the possible creation of a LERTA District, which would allow for a tax abatement plan for the developer.
After the Sept. 9 meeting, Solicitor Linc Treadwell noted that the township had no control over what tax authorities for the county and the school district would approve.
Supervisor Rick Orloff, responding to a query later, added that “LERTA is out of our hands; we can pass the ordinance allowing it, but the county and school district will have to decide on foregoing the added tax revenues, in exchange for job creation and tax revenue down the road. Only the developer will be able to answer whether or not it will proceed without universal LERTA approval by all taxing bodies.”
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