Upper Dublin Township board updated on proposed dams
The Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners heard a project update on the proposed dam structures during its Aug. 14 meeting.
A representative of D’Huy Engineering presented a PowerPoint slideshow focusing on the work completed; the project budget at this time; the next steps to the project, including a determination as to when the actual construction start date will be; and also some foreseeable challenges moving forward.
M. Arif Fazil, representing D’Huy Engineering, began the presentation focusing on the work completed so far. Fazil said the township obtained a $11,808,913 grant for the project from the state, which significantly lowers the total cost to the township and he added the design to date is 95 percent complete with just a few regulatory agency permit submissions still needed to be processed. He said emergency action plans and wetland mitigation and restoration designs are also nearly complete.
Fazil said the project is composed of three major components. The first is earth work, the second is sheet piling that provides the support structure for the earth work and concrete structure and the third component is concrete structure. The three components are equal on each dam, he said.
As far as the budget goes, the estimated total cost of the project is $15.3 million. The cost to the township, however, is only $3,491,087 due to the grant from the state. Fazil said the project’s cost will be about $430,000 less than originally anticipated but final number crunching still needed to take place to be sure.
Board President Ira Tackel said the board moved forward with the project with D’Huy because the projects at Upper Dublin High School and the firehouse were so successful.
Fazil said there are a number of next steps to the project. URS Corp., the engineering firm working with D’Huy on the project, has submitted Dam Safety responses and now they are waiting for final permits, including a permit from the U.S. Army Corps. Additional steps include addressing emergency action plan comments, refining a bidding strategy and bid alternate list and finalizing the scope and fee of design and construction services by URS, along with final budget checks and bidding with optional start dates for the project based on final permits.
The actual start date is contingent on a number of factors, according to Fazil. The first is a response from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Division of Dam Safety, which Fazil said is critical. He said a permit request has been made to the DEP and a response is pending. The second is a response from the U.S. Army Corps about permit request. The inal is acquisition of all flowage easements, which is in progress.
Fazil said an actual schedule hasn’t been made yet because all of the pieces required are not yet in place and to move forward would end up costing the township more money since the price could potentially rise as pieces come in. He said he hopes to have a schedule ready by September or October but couldn’t commit to a set timeline as of yet.
Some foreseeable challenges also stand in the way of construction. Fazil said final permit comments and timelines from the DEP and the Army Corps are unpredictable and could require design changes. He said flowage easement acquisitions, Phase II environmental work being done at Pine Run and bid timing were also challenges. Fazil said another challenge was what they would accomplish this winter since earth and concrete work are weather dependent.
The goal, Fazil said, is to have all permits completed by October so bidding can begin shortly after. A qualified bidder would then be brought to the township in December, with an award made in December, so construction can start next spring and finish next year.
In other news, new traffic signal cameras are coming to the area that may make the wait at the light a lot shorter.
The board awarded a contract for the installation of a traffic signal adaptive system known as Insync to Republic ITS for $214,204.50.
The contract calls for the installation of four cameras at intersections in Dresher.
Township Manager Paul ieonard said the following intersections will see the cameras installed: sirginia and Susquehanna Road, Dreshertown Road and South iimekiln Pike, Dreshertown and korth iimekiln Pike and iimekiln Pike and Susquehanna.
The camera installations will be paid for by an Automated Red iight Enforcement (ARiE) grant from PennDOT.
The board also approved the installation of a fifth camera at the corner of sirginia and Office Center drives. The original bid price for the installation was $38,700, but wiyj BET Investments and Wawa, scheduled to open at the corner, eaching donating $10,000 to implement the system, the total cost to the township will be $18,700.
ieonard said the project will install five smart traffic signals throughout the area to help move traffic more efficiently. The Insync system uses video cameras not to enforce traffic but to adapt to traf- fic conditions and adjust the lights accordingly. The cameras don’t take pictures of motorists trying to catch a light; they only work to reduce the wait time for cars at a red light.
ieonard said the installation will be a “dramatic improvement” because “motorists that use these traffic signals will pretty quickly figure out that the traffic signals are a little more on their side” because the signal will know how many cars are waiting and will adjust.
He said if the signals were to break, they would default to their original settings and people would notice the difference.
The software used in the Insync software is not just a time system. Instead, the camera actually counts each car waiting at the light and forwards the information to the next light ahead, allowing it to adjust before the cars even get there, to make sure all the cars keep moving.
“When a mechanical device is on your side, you know it. When it’s not, you really know it,” he said, noting studies have shown a S0 percent decrease in wait time when these devices are installed.
ieonard said if there was a car accident and police wanted to use the video footage to see what happened, certain portions of the video would be recoverable for 30 days.