Richards Park Latest Renovation Work Starts Slowly

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Supply chain disruptions and an outbreak of COVID-19 among construction workers have combined to temporarily delay the start of added improvements at Gerald Richards Park in Lower Pottsgrove, the township engineering firm reported Monday (Dec. 6, 2021) to the Board of Commissioners.

Renovations at the park “got off to a slow start” in recent weeks, McCarthy Engineering Associates Inc. told the board, in part because material deliveries expected for the park’s Phase II renovation plan were held up by supply routing problems experienced nationwide. Those are already being addressed, the firm noted.

But there wasn’t much engineers could do about a second problem, it added.

A bout of COVID-19 infections took hold among several employees of contractor James R. Kenney of Collegeville, engineers stated. The spate of illnesses, according to McCarthy, left the contractor with minimum crew strength and unable to get under way. As a result, construction equipment has sat idle in a well-staked field (at top) visible on the south side of Buchert Road at the park.

The latest round of work, valued at more than $528,000, includes building a new soccer field where stakes are already placed, re-designing and enhancing the walking trail around the park perimeter, and upgrading storm water management. Kenney was praised earlier this year for its successful completion of work on the park’s first phase projects, and was the winning bidder for its second phase.

The good news? Affected employees are returning to their jobs, engineers reported, and board members were told the plan in coming weeks is to “get earthwork done until it can’t be done any more” due to weather conditions. Work then is anticipated to resume in the spring, and should be finished in plenty of time to meet specified deadlines and the needs of park users.

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