Lower Pottsgrove OKs Paperwork for Next U.S. 422 Project

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – As the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation prepares for another round of improvements on U.S. Route 422 through Lower Pottsgrove, the township Board of Commissioners on Tuesday (July 5, 2022) approved an agreement with the state that allows PennDOT contractors to relocate a sanitary sewer line at no cost to local taxpayers.

The sewer pipes lie buried 24 feet underground and must be moved for future maintenance purposes, township Manager Ed Wagner explained. They are beneath the bridge that carries all four lanes of the limited-access highway high overhead, and across a gap over South Sanatoga Road and Sanatoga Creek (at top).

Lower Pottsgrove OKs Paperwork for Next U.S. 422 Project

The bridge is located just south of, and behind the rear parking lot at, the now-closed Cutillo’s Restaurant, 2688 E. High St. The structure is aging, and steel bars set into its concrete supports are now exposed to the elements (at right). Activities surrounding its final design are said to be nearing completion. Although the project – known as Section M1B – ran behind schedule, Wagner indicated the work could begin within months.

M1B also involves a second bridge replacement over Porter Road and Sprogels Run.

Two additional bridge replacements originally were part of M1B, but have already been completed separately to expedite the remaining work, according to the state. PennDOT contractor, the H&K Group of Skippack, months ago finished those new bridges across 422 at South Pleasant View Road and South Park Road at a lowest bid cost of $7.13 million.

The state-estimated construction costs of M1B at $74 million, and it was scheduled to take four years to complete. It’s unknown how, if at all, project costs and deadlines may have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the current state of the economy.

The agreement regarding the sewer line movement for M1B ensures the state will reimburse Lower Pottsgrove for fees it may incur during the work, Wagner said. It was reviewed and found to be acceptable by township Solicitor Jamie Ottaviano, he added. Commissioners approved it unanimously and without comment.

Noise suppression barriers

In a related matter Wagner also reported that owners of properties in areas lining separate and different portions of the M1B project, where the sound of passing traffic could be a problem, have been asked to agree upon the design and color of accompanying noise insulation barriers. To his surprise, Wagner admitted, the groups involved had up to 25 design and color combinations from which to choose.

“It was a little overwhelming,” Wagner said some land owners reported.

Voting on and reporting decisions by the groups apparently is finished, although the manager said they had until Nov. 30 to render decisions. Two groups in affected areas chose the same design and color scheme; a third went with something slightly different, he said.

Photos by The Post