Changes to key roads on the north end of Carlisle could begin as early as next month with construction continuing for three years.
That timeline was discussed during a presentation by project manager Herbert, Rowland & Grubic at Wednesday’s workshop meeting of the Carlisle Borough Council.
Brian Emberg of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic said the Connectivity Project, which is related to infrastructure improvements connected to the Carlisle Urban Redevelopment Plan, is divided into three projects that will total almost $25 million over the next few years.
The first project includes development in and around the former IAC/Masland site that is now owned by Carlisle Auto Industries. This project is further divided into two phases.
The western phase includes the extension of A, B, C and D streets from Fairground Avenue to Carlisle Springs Road, and does not affect traffic as it is passing through the former IAC/Masland site. The only potential effect on traffic could be when the extensions of those streets reach the tie-in phase with existing roads, Emberg said.
The western phase began with groundbreaking at the CAI site and is expected to continue through November.
The second phase, tagged the HOP phase because of the highway occupancy permit required to complete the work, is on hold until that permit is issued. The work includes road improvements along Carlisle Springs Road, and is anticipated to take place between May 2018 and May 2019, with the bulk of the work coming in 2018.
“A lot of the work in 2019 would be clean up, seeding and mulching and that type of work,” Emberg said.
There is a possible closure and detour on Carlisle Springs Road during the HOP phase, pending approval from PennDOT, Emberg said. Once that approval is granted, the borough will have a more clear idea of when the detour will occur, what the detour route will be and how long the detour will last.
The alternative to detouring is to close down segments and use flagging, which would cause even greater traffic disruptions that would last for a longer period of time.
“If we can close the highway and detour, the construction can occur in a much more compact time so it will have less impact to the traveling public, the school district’s bus routes and the elementary school,” Emberg said.
There is also an aging water line in the center of the road that will be repaired when the road is closed. Because of its location, it’s nearly impossible to do flagging and single-lane closure, Emberg said.
“By piggybacking on this detour, it’s going to save the borough quite a bit of money,” Emberg said.
Borough manager Matt Candland said the detour allows a number of projects involving water, sewer and stormwater to be done at the same time to save time and money.
The two phases included in the CAI Development Project are expected to reach $4.4 million.
The second project, known as Borough Project 1, includes the realignment of Carlisle Springs Road and signalizing the intersection as well as a roundabout at the intersection of North Hanover Street, East and West Penn streets and Fairground Avenue.
This project will be done in staged construction, which will help maintain two lanes of traffic at all times on Hanover Street. It will move traffic off to the side and will involve building the new project like a puzzle, Emberg said.
“It will extend the duration and drive the cost up, too, but, frankly, there is no other way. It would be almost impossible to detour that,” he said.
Short detours will be need on Penn Street and Fairground Avenue.
The project is in pre-construction, and will begin in autumn 2019 with a wrap-up date in spring 2021.
Emberg said, however, that the schedules are not set in stone as they are dependent on a number of variables. For example, if the rights of way are obtained faster, the schedule could move up.
The third project is known as the Borough TIGER Project; so named because of a $5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant received by the borough in 2016 to assist with the construction. The project includes traffic calming measures on Fairground Avenue, stormwater and sidewalk improvements as well as a four-point roundabout at B and College streets and a three-point roundabout at B Street and Fairground Avenue.
The total cost of this project is $10.9 million, with construction slated for late summer 2019 through late summer 2020.
“It’s a little bit behind the Project 1, but we think it’s actually going to be ready for construction a little sooner,” Emberg said.
Traffic control will include detours, and the project will be phased to allow only one block at a time to be closed with accommodations being made for property owners.
Emberg also outlined a plan to keep the public informed about the progress of the project. Project updates will be available on a website that includes the background of the project as well as day-to-day updates, progress photo galleries and a section for frequently asked questions.
Information about the project will also be available through news releases, on social media, via email and through meetings.
Triggers for communication on each of these platforms include the start and end of each project, car shows and other events at the Carlisle Fairgrounds, major downtown events and changes in traffic control associated with each of the projects. These traffic controls could include lane closures, road closures and flagging.
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