PennDOT: Brockway Intersection Project Too Early For Public Input

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – The drawing being presented as a new design for the Brockway intersection project is not what residents fear it is.

The state promised Brockway money to redo the intersection by Sheetz, potentially linking Route 219 straight through between Brockway Drug and Bill’s Place to Evergreen Street. The business owners were first concerned by a drawing with the intersection superimposed over a Google Maps image. That confusion had a new layer added when another map appeared, more detailed and official-looking than the map that initially caused concern.

This map was created simply for reference and is not an actual design or plan for the intersection.

That drawing, according to PennDOT District 10, is not a final design, but a reference map to help plan the project and get it off the ground.

“Conceptual drawings were completed in late 2016 and December 2018 as part of a grant application,” David Layman, civil engineering manager at PennDOT District 10, wrote in an email. The drawing was dated January 2019. “It’s a conceptual/preliminary drawing. And the borough was given a copy of it a few months ago at a coordination meeting.”

Brockway Borough Council President Chris “Smoke” Benson reiterated that there are no official plans, designs, maps, or images of the intersection project.

The intersection where the project may go through.

“That’s not new information,” he said of the map. “It’s not official. It’s a preliminary drawing that the engineer uses for reference. We first saw that map two months ago during a meeting.”

Layman explained that the project is still in its infancy, and the reason there have been no public design meetings is because the design is still in its earliest stages. Any drawings going around the community are simply to help explain the scope of the project to design firms.

“The drawing is not a design drawing,” Layman said. “It’s a conceptual layout based off Google aerial mapping and old existing roadway plans. The drawing is not developed off actual field survey. Engineering drawings done in preliminary engineering and then completed in final design based off field survey.”

No field survey has been done, and the business owners have not been involved in the design because there is a step-by-step process necessary for such projects.

“The project is in the early stages of development consisting of budgeting and planning,” Layman wrote in his email. “Preliminary engineering has not started yet. The process of selecting a design firm will be started over the next few months to advance the preliminary engineering and final design phases of the project.”

Layman said that the public meetings will happen in 2020. Additional questions about the project were answered by stating that the project is still in its early phases, so no studies have been done, no engineering firms have been consulted, and no plans are official. It is simply too early to involve anyone.

“There is not an engineering firm selected for design yet,” he said in his email. He outlined a timeline that residents should expect, saying that it takes around five months to do the selection process and then another month to get a contract.

“Once that happens,” Layman explained, “preliminary engineering will take place, which includes evaluating options and presenting and discussing the options with local stakeholders, residences, and business owners, along with EMS, public officials, and schools.”

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