UPPER GWYNEDD >> After nearly a decade of planning and several months of construction and detours, the West Point streetscape project is nearly complete.

Township Manager Len Perrone and Assistant Manager Mike Lapinski gave the township commissioners an update on that project Tuesday, saying the project is nearly done except for one of its more visible elements.

“We’re substantially complete with that project. Last week, they finished the sod installation, so all of the landscaping is pretty much done, and we’re at the point where we’re developing the punch list,” Lapinski said.

That punch list contains roughly 45 minor items that must still be completed before the project can be certified as finished, according to Lapinski and Perrone. The streetscape project includes new lighting, crosswalks, and sidewalks along West Point Pike between Park Avenue and Jones Avenue, to be largely funded with a $300,000 federal grant initially secured in 2006. According to Reporter archives, the streetscape plan was designed with the input of residents in the surrounding West Point Village part of the township in 2007-08, and delays in the federal and PennDOT approval processes along with property acquisitions pushed back the start of work until August of 2015.

Geoff Patton--The Reporter
The new sidewalks on West Point Pike in West Point, installed as part of the Streetscape project.

The most visible remaining part of the project is the installation of 23 light poles, which Perrone said have yet to be delivered to the contractor completing the project. “The fixtures, the light heads, have been received by the contractor, but the poles and offset brackets have not,” he said.

Once the poles arrive, they can be installed over roughly a week without any street closures or detours like were necessary over the summer, Lapinski said.

“We don’t have to shut down the road, we can just alternate lanes with Public Works flaggers. Once those street lights are up, PECO can energize them, the punch list gets completed, and we’re wrapped up,” Lapinski said.

Part of the long delay leading up to the project was PennDOT regulations that require very specific locations for those light fixtures, Perrone told the board.

“Part of the design work that we were required to do for PennDOT review was the lighting arcs for each fixture. We had to do everything we could to make sure the lighting arcs merged, so you didn’t have dark spots” between the light poles, according to the manager.

“There may be a couple (of dark spots), but we had to get it as good as we could, otherwise they would not have approved the project,” Perrone said.

A $69,045 payment to Scott Contracting Inc. for work completed on the streetscape project was discussed by the commissioners during their workshop meeting Tuesday, and will be on their business meeting agenda for approval — along with a project update for the public — Oct. 27. Perrone said total costs for the project will be uncertain until the work is complete, and the 2015 township budget estimates a total project cost of $430,000, of which $300,000 is covered by the grant.

“I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people that it really looks nice, and a lot of people are looking forward to seeing the light fixtures go in, because it’s going to change the look of that neighborhood substantially,” Perrone said.

Commissioner Clare Edelmayer, who was part of a committee required by PennDOT to handle bids from engineers overseeing the project, compared the years-long approval process to giving birth: “You go through the pain and agony, but when it’s delivered, it’s worth it.”

“It was an inconvenience, no doubt about that, and we got through it, and we appreciate all the residents and businesses in that area, and their patience,” Perrone said.

Upper Gwynedd’s commissioners next meet at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the township administration building, 1 Parkside Place. For more information or meeting agendas and materials visit www.UpperGwyendd.org.


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