Local News: Bike path planned along Route 82 near Unionville High School

East Marlborough officials must come up with a design plan for a new bikeway along Route 82 near the Unionville High School by Dec. 1 or risk losing about $1.3 million in funds for the project from the state Department of Transportation. So far, the township has spent $185,000 in design costs for a

Bicycle & Jogger with child ride along the bik...

bikeway that will extend along a 1.1 mile stretch of Route 82 from Route 926 to the roundabout at Doe Run Road. Township engineers are working to complete the project with about $30,000 allocated by the township.

“We certainly would like to see this done and don’t want to lose the opportunity to get money that PennDOT is making available,” said Cuyler Walker, East Marlborough supervisor. “But we need to be sure we know what the limit is for expenses for the township.” Jane Laso, township manager, said it’s important to finish the design plans because so much money is at stake. The bikeway project involves no tax money. East Marlborough’s portion is coming from impact fees levied on developers of nearby housing projects. Laslo said if all goes well, the project is likely to start sometime in 2013. That’s because even if everything is in place by the end of next year, officials do not want to interfere with the school year.

“We want to be certain we construct it during the summer when school is out of session,” Laslo said. “It’s much easier on the bus traffic. That’s the way we did the roundabout.” Laslo said easements must still be purchased, and federal regulations require land appraisals. “We need six inches of land, and in some cases, a foot of private land to complete this,” Laslo said. “Getting the documents drawn up and appraisals will be more expensive than the acquisition itself.” The bike lanes will be asphalt, and will be four-feet wide on each side of Route 82. An embankment  on the south side of Route 82 across from the high school will be pushed back and a retaining wall built to accommodate the path. The unfinished sidewalk that already exists at the top of the embankment will be completed, and it will extend all the way to the Fox Lee Manor Development off Route 82.

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