LOWER MAKEFIELD >> After being delayed a month, the Sandy Run/Edgewood Road Safety Improvement Project is scheduled to begin this month and for the most part be completed by the time school starts at the end of August.
Harris Blacktopping will be installing two mini-roundabouts on Edgewood Road - one at Schuyler Road and the other at Mill Road - in preparation for the reopening of Sandy Run Road at Edgewood Road.
For safety reasons, the township closed Sandy Run Road at Edgewood Road in January 2017 after a site inspection determined there was insufficient sight and stopping distance at the intersection of Sandy Run and Edgewood Roads due to changes made in elevation to the nearby railroad crossing.
The Edgewood Road Safety Improvement Project will reopen Sandy Run Road to right turns in and right turns out at Edgewood Road by building the two mini-roundabouts, which will allow Sandy Run traffic to double back without having to make an unsafe left turn or take a two mile detour.
In addition to allowing Sandy Run Road traffic to double back, the township’s traffic engineer said the roundabouts would act as a traffic calming measure and slow traffic down to 25 mph - the minimum speed needed to allow traffic to safely make left turns in and out of Sandy Run Road at Edgewood.
At Sandy Run and Edgewood, channelized islands will be installed that will force traffic exiting from Sandy Run and entering Sandy Run from Edgewood to make right turns only.
In addition, an existing full three foot wide curb median will be extended 150 feet to the west on Edgewood Road to just past Sandy Run Road to fully block left turns from Edgewood and Sandy Run. The supervisors choose that option over a full jersey barrier wall, which board members found unsightly.
The roundabouts being planned are smaller in diameter than traditional roundabouts. “They have traversable center islands that can be driven over,” said engineer Bill Torr from Michael Baker. “They require minimal or no roadway widening and they fit mostly within the roadway envelope. At Schuyler we will have no proposed widening. And at Mill we will have just a bit of widening on the southeast corner.”
At each roundabout, Torr said there will be handicapped ramps and safe pedestrian crossings.
Edgewood Road will be closed and detoured from west of Schuyler Road to the railroad crossing starting on or about July 19 for approximately three weeks for the project. After the work is completed, Edgewood Road will then be closed and detoured at the intersection with Mill Road for approximately three weeks.
This schedule could change due to weather, delay in asphalt, or other factors outside of the township’s control. For updates, visit www.lmt.org.
In other township news, the supervisors agreed at its June meeting to allow bow hunts at the Five Mile Woods Nature Preserve on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from September 25 through Nov. 24 and Dec. 28 to Jan. 27. A hunt will not take place on Thanksgiving Day.
The township had been allowing hunts every other weekend at the woods on Big Oak Road, but preserve users were never sure which weekends the hunts were taking place.
“That led to confusion and became difficult to keep track of,” said manager Kurt Ferguson. “With consistent days and times it will be easier to keep people aware of when those hunts are occurring.”
“It’s important that we deal with the deer population, which has gotten out of control,” said Supervisor John Lewis. “And this is a reasonable approach to make sure the park is available to people when they need it, but it’s also an important area, a greenway where deer move between Falls and Lower Makefield. It’s a great area to cull the herd.”
Hunts are held on township-owned property through a contract with BOWMA, a nonprofit group of skilled and qualified archers who believe in the safe and ethical downsizing of problematic or nuisance deer herds.
In other action, the supervisors gave resident Dave Miller permission to redraw a lot line on his property located in the Edgewood Village Historic District on Yardley-Langhorne Road across from the CVS Pharmacy.
Known as the Jesse Palmer Tavern property, the change will divide the roughly five acre site into two new lots - a 2.4 acre eastern lot and a 2.46 acre western lot.
Miller, who has lived with his family on the property for more than 50 years, said as he and his wife have gotten older the property has become a challenge to manage.
“We got advice that if we had the lot line changed it might be easier to sell. All the buildings are on the eastern half of the land. The western half is undeveloped,” said Miller. “We have no intention to do anything with it at this point other than to put it up for sale, although there are alternatives we have talked about doing, but they are not foremost in our plans.”
According to township planner Jim Majewski, several homes could be built on the undeveloped lot. “Or you could do something else with the property since it is zoned historic commercial. You could put some mixed use item in there, although you’d have to respect all the natural resources in there,” he said. “There is a small stream that runs through the property. And there also are woodlands on the property.”
“The HARB is very much in favor of this as it opens up the area to become a little bit more of a village and, ever so slightly more, if they are able to do some mixed use on the newly vacant lot,” said Grenier.
In other action, the supervisors appointed Bette Sovinee to the township’s property management committee. Sovinee is a member of the Artists of Yardley, which leases the Patterson Farmhouse for its gallery and arts center.