Peters Township proceeds with Hidden Valley Road repair project
Peters Township is moving forward on plans to repair Hidden Valley Road, a project with a cost estimate in the neighborhood of $500,000.
Mark Zemaitis, township director of engineering, told council members at their July 10 meeting that several prospective bidders met with him the previous week at the site of a landslide. Because of the damage, vehicular traffic is limited to one lane approaching and leaving Valley Brook Country Club, the property of which represents the road’s terminus. Opening of bids is anticipated for July 19.
“The hope is that we’ll be in a position to recommend an award at the next council meeting, July 24,” Zemaitis said.
In the meantime, township and West Penn Power representatives have been discussing the cost and logistics of moving utility poles, which Zemaitis called “one of the key components of this job.”
“I think the game plan is going to be – if and when we select a bidder for this, assuming we get some good numbers – we take that bidder to the site along with the power company and talk through a procedure,” he explained, “and try to minimize the amount of relocation that we have to do.”
If all proceeds well, he said, the relocation could start by Sept. 1.
Council voted June 12 to approve and implement emergency purchasing procedures, with the goal of expediting the project.
During council’s June 26 meeting, resident Carl Weber of Rutledge Drive questioned the municipality’s paying for the project, contending that members of Valley Brook, which owns the property to either side of the road as it approaches the club’s entrance should provide financing.
“How can you dedicate a road on private property and say it’s now the township’s responsibility?” he asked during the meeting’s public comment portion.
Hidden Valley is part of the municipal road system, township manager Paul Lauer said, and has been maintained as such for decades.
“The land on either side of it is owned by the country club, and for us to undertake the work we need to do to secure our road is going to take us probably working on their property, in which case we need a release from them,” he explained about the repair project.
Repairs could feature a beam-and-lagging wall, a regionally common but relatively expensive support technique that Zemaitis previously referred to as “a fairly foolproof solution.” He said that stabilization of about 200 feet of roadway probably would be required.