Heavy truck traffic on Laurel Drive was a topic of discussion at the March 7 meeting of the Rice Township Board of Supervisors. Several residents from Laurel Lakes voiced their concerns regarding PPL trucks using the roads to get to the site of a high tension wire project.
Roadmaster Bob Pipech reported he and township engineer Andy Pasonick met with PPL representatives regarding the triaxle truck traffic necessary for the project. The traffic, said Pipech, will be greatly reduced once the mountain access road is complete in few months. Pasonick stated the heavy tri-axle traffic will be reduced when the construction road is completed along the power lines. The concrete trucks will then come in to pour the tower foundations. He added the truck traffic will cycle between heavy and light over the next several months until that section of line towers are replaced.
Board chair Marcia Thomas
explained that these were public roads and the township cannot deny PPL access, noting the Township receives Liquid Fuels funds to help keep roads repaired.
Chief Franks pointed out that federal regulations exempt utilities from local road weight limits. Pipech said the loaded trucks were supposed to go up Laurel Drive and return empty trucks down Lakeview Drive so only the empty trucks would cross the new culvert that was recently replaced. Thomas reiterated that the Township cannot prevent PP&L and its contractors from using the public roads.
Residents also expressed their concern that the trucks were turning around in Oakmont and creating a hazard to school buses and children.
Thomas explained that the
See Traffic page 4