Peters Township residents who live near the intersection of East McMurray, Thompsonville and Bebout roads are in for a double dose of inconvenience.
On Monday, township council agreed to allow Alex E. Paris Contracting Co. to perform night work at the intersection as part of a Pennsylvania American Water line replacement project that is estimated to take three days to complete.
“To be able to make the connection, they need to shut the water off,” township manager Paul Lauer said. “And it’s their thought that they will inconvenience far less people by shutting the water off and doing that work at night.”
Council members Frank Arcuri, Monica Merrell and Gary Stiegel Jr. voted against the approval, following a Thompsonville Road resident’s objecting to the proposal.
“We hear trucks all day long, up and down, crack of dawn ’til evening,” Mark Sanders told council, referring to construction taking place at residential developments along Thompsonville. “And now we’re going to start new trucks up at 8 p.m., when it’s time for us to finally get some peace. It’s not a good choice.”
Merrell asked whether working during the day on the water lines, which includes substantial excavation, would extend the amount of time needed to complete the project.
Alexander Paris, representing the nine-decade-old Smith Township company bearing his family’s name, replied with regard to what would occur at the East McMurray-Thompsonville-Bebout intersection.
“We would have to stop and start, get the road plates moved, let traffic go for 15 minutes, stop, move them,” he said. “Yeah, it’s going to definitely take a lot longer.”
The possibility of establishing alternate routes for vehicles during the project was discussed.
“That would be the ideal scenario,” Lauer said. “But thinking of that intersection, I don’t know how you would ever detour traffic coming from all four directions.”
According to a memo from the contracting company to Peters Township, work is to begin as soon as the state Department of Transportation issues a revised highway occupancy permit for the project, with four flaggers in place to control traffic. Residents would be notified 48 hours prior to the start, Paris said. He told council the usual practice is for water to be shut off 8 p.m. and turned back on about 5 a.m.