SANATOGA PA – Lower Pottsgrove’s Police Department is occasionally reimbursed for its costs in doing work that, for its patrol teams, might otherwise be part of a daily routine. Schools pay it to provide safety officers. The state pays it to conduct sobriety checkpoints. And, for a short while at least, a highway builder has begun paying it for traffic control assistance.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation contractor J.D. Eckman Inc., which on Sept. 24 began a 6-year-long, $73.3 million renovation of two miles and two bridges of U.S. Route 422 across Lower Pottsgrove and North Coventry townships, has hired the police force to conduct “traffic calming and buffering efforts” in the construction zone, Chief Michael Foltz reports.
State Police troopers were initially expected to do that work, also for reimbursement, but apparently were delayed. That’s when Atglen PA-based Eckman asked Foltz if Lower Pottsgrove’s officers could temporarily stand in. The reimbursement rate has not been announced.
Foltz says patrol officers “have been conducting traffic enforcements, primarily enforcing the 40 mph speed limit in the construction zone,” as well as buffering that keeps workers safe while traffic speeds past them.
Troopers are eventually anticipated to take over the contracted work. That won’t mean Lower Pottsgrove officers will disappear, or abandon their duties near the work area. Drivers just may not see them … until they violate the law, that is. “We will still conduct periodic traffic enforcement efforts through the construction zone,” Foltz says.
Related (to U.S. Route 422 reconstruction at Armand Hammer Boulevard):