Up­per Dublin Town­ship board updated on pro­posed dams

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION - By Eric Devlin

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.

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