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First Street in the West Wilmerding section of North Versailles Twp. is a state-maintained road. Residents are asking the township to pressure PennDOT to complete repairs. (Tube City Almanac photo)
Residents of North Versailles Twp. asked commissioners to do something about dangerous conditions on state-maintained roads and bridges.
During the public comment portion of the commissioners’ Sept. 19 meeting, Julie Davis, who uses a walker, said she has difficulty getting to the nearest bus stop, located at the intersection of Overhill Road and East Pittsburgh McKeesport Boulevard, where she resides.
The intersection is on a state-maintained road that Davis said is “very dangerous,” due to missing sections of sidewalk that were not replaced after work was completed to repair water lines.
“Somebody may be seriously injured or killed,” unless a traffic light or stop sign is placed at the intersection, she told commissioners. “There is no traffic light there, no sidewalk, no curb, I’m using a walker, I fell a couple of times,” Davis said.
Township officials, including police Chief James Matrazzo, told Davis they will work on getting the bus stop moved to a safer location.
Township Commissioner Frank Bivens, president of the board, along with board vice-president Sam Juliano and Commissioner George Thompson assured Davis they will send a letter to the state Department of Transportation requesting sidewalk installation and a crosswalk.
(Tube City Almanac photo)
Beverly Koch lives at Spring Road and First Street in West Wilmerding. She told commissioners that First Street, which is a state-maintained road, is in poor condition. “It’s a mess, it’s really narrow, people drive very fast, the (hillside) is falling in, barrels that were put there have been knocked down,” she said.
A portion of the street has started to collapse. Barricades and stop signs were placed on the road after the township contacted PennDOT about the hillside erosion, according to township solicitor Greg Evashavik.
“That’s all they did,” he said. PennDOT has told the township that it's doing soil and engineering studies, Evashavik said, but it seems like “nothing happens.”
He said he hopes work can begin in 2020 or 2021, and that PennDOT will design some kind of wall that stabilizes the hillside.
Commissioner Russell Saula said he has contacted PennDOT about First Street and he understands that repairs take time.
Bivens said the township will continue to “follow up with the state to see what can be done.”
In other business, township commissioners unanimously:
Authorized the township manager to apply for a quote from Cyber Security Liability Insurance.
Approved the quote from Greenwich Insurance Co. for the Police Professional Policy beginning Oct. 1, 2019 in the amount of $21,236, a 5 percent increase.
Approved the quote from H.A.R.I.E for the Workman’s Compensation Policy beginning Oct.1, 2019 in the amount of $154,879, a 5.5 percent increase.
Approved the quote from MRM Property & Liability Trust for the package policy beginning Oct. 1, 2019 in the amount of $50,342, a 5 percent increase.
Authorized the township manager to advertise an ordinance amending the Non-Uniform Pension Plan. The ordinance will be considered by commissioners at their October meeting.
Authorized Mockenhaupt Benefits Group to prepare a restatement of the Police Pension Plan and to prepare summary plan description booklets for employees at a cost not to exceed $6,250.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published September 22, 2019.