2020-07-20 North End Entrance and Exit Report

North End Entrance and Exit Report by the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC)

Beth Bauer, Chair

Below you can read the report submitted to and accepted by the LHPOA Board at the June 10, 2020 Board Meeting. The Board also approved the recommendation of the SPC contained in the last paragraph of the report to take no action on a North End Entrance or Exit. In several places the report references attachments. These attachments can be seen by going to the LHPOA Eunify portal; click on Documents, General Information, North End Research.

SPC Report to the LHPOA Board of Directors

An investigation into a North End Entrance / Exit

Background – During 2019, because of requests from membership, Ed Kushner, the LHPOA Board member responsible for Safety and Security, conducted an investigation to find the results of any previous studies performed to analyze the costs and requirements of installing an entrance at the north end of Lake Heritage onto Route 116. Ed identified at least 5 different times from 1981 through 2017 that this project was looked at by Lake Heritage. However, he was not able to find any written documentation of costs or requirements.

Ed summarized his findings in the attached 3-page report titled “Historical Background – Initiative/Projects to Open the North End at Lake Heritage.” The common memories of those who had been involved in these efforts was a cost of over $1 million for significant roadwork (new lanes, hill trimming) and a traffic light.

In addition, when the SPC conducted a community-wide survey to assess membership satisfaction back in 2015, only eleven of the 480 comments concerned the addition of an entrance at the north end. In the summer of 2019, the SPC again surveyed the membership; this time only 10 unsolicited responses of the 518 survey responses indicated interest in the addition of an entrance at the north end. The results clearly indicated that the membership does not support spending community dues on this project. A project to install a north entrance, however, was not included in the main survey as a specific question.

Additional Investigation – At the request of LHPOA member Harry Buzzerd, and with Mr. Kushner’s report of no written documentation, the LHPOA Board requested the SPC to look at the North End Entrance project. While the 2019 survey showed no support for spending on major projects at this time, the group agreed to see if it should be considered as a future project in some manner (whether that be self-funded such as the dog park, or potentially outside funded by government transportation agencies or another method was not stated). SPC membership reviewed the history provided by Ed Kushner and listened to a presentation by Harry Buzzerd about the potential for outside funding.

On February 6th, 2020, the director of the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, Sherri Clayton-Williams and Andrew Merkel, Asst Director Adams County Office of Planning and Development attended the SPC meeting to address this issue. The SPC sent Sherri and Andrew a list of questions in advance of the meeting. Those questions, with Sherri and Andrew’s answers, are attached as four pages of PDF files.

Mr. Merkel stated at this meeting that his office would be an important link to connect us with support from PennDOT, but he would need to see a neighborhood survey showing large support for the project in order for him to tell PennDOT that our neighborhood wants to install an entrance/light. After the meeting, Mr. Merkel sent information on past traffic counts on route 116 (over 9,000 cars per day) which is considered busy and would require the installation of a traffic light to allow the entrance to be opened.

Conclusions – Based on what the group learned from the meeting with the Adams County planners, the SPC has learned the following:

  • Pre-construction costs (surveys, engineering) will be at LHPOA expense; these costs are not eligible for grants.
  • Traffic light -based on the traffic count, a light will be necessary and LHPOA will be responsible for everything – the initial cost, installation and maintenance, even if partnering with the local township. Andrew furnished us with rough, estimated costs of $500,000 – $1 million.
  • Road revisions – the road will need to be widened to allow for turn lanes. This cost could be picked up by PennDOT if they were replacing the bridge over White Run – see below
  • Revisions to LHPOA property to install the roadway and gates on our property – these costs are all at LHPOA expense – no grants would cover roads/gates on private property.
  • Grants to assist with funding the required roadwork or traffic signal will be difficult to attain as LHPOA is a private community. It would be necessary to partner with Mt. Pleasant or Straban townships, and per Andrew and Sherri, this will be very difficult as the townships have little reason to support this.
  • Bridge improvement by PennDOT that might aid in covering the cost of widening route 116 by the entrance/exit is likely more than 10 years in the future. It is dependent on the bridge’s condition being down-rated and PennDOT’s subsequent allocation of monies for repair.

We consider the likely LHPOA cost of this project to be well over $2 million when all the components are added together (preconstruction cost for all road design, traffic light cost, roadway and gates and technology inside of LH). This cost would be even higher if the cost of widening Route 116 for turn lanes is not paid for by PennDOT. As a result of learning of the high costs and the low likelihood for outside funding, the SPC concluded that our recommendation to the BOD will be to take no action on a north end entrance/exit.

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