Representatives for the UPS distribution center project at 1 Red Lion Road hosted a virtual meeting with Greater Bustleton Civic League’s members on Oct. 27.
This was the first time representatives of the project hosted a meeting to directly present information and answer questions for community members. It followed a Civic Design Review meeting in September, during which the CDR board urged project managers and residents to have direct discussions about the project before returning for another review. A similar in-person meeting was scheduled to happen at the end of March but was canceled due to the pandemic.
Many of the questions asked by residents concerned the warehouse’s impact on traffic. An estimated 1,300 trucks will enter the site on a daily basis, in addition to employee vehicles that could bring the number up to 4,700 vehicles per day.
Mark Giuffre, vice president of state government affairs at UPS, noted that UPS is currently serving the surrounding communities and trucks are already on the roads, stating UPS tries to be close to the communities it serves.
“The reason this site is so attractive to us is it is close to communities we’re serving right now as demand for deliveries has continued to grow,” he said.
The traffic study approved by PennDOT and the city Department of Streets suggested the following changes be made at intersections along Red Lion Road:
Pine Road intersection: Construct a roadway widening on Pine Road to provide dedicated left turn lanes onto Red Lion Road.
Along Sandmeyer Lane: Traffic calming measures will be taken such as providing a median and rumble strips from the intersection with Red Lion Road to the bend along Sandmeyer Lane. There will also be northbound and southbound left turn lane bays on Sandmeyer Lane.
Sandmeyer intersection: Plans call for widening Sandmeyer Lane and traffic lanes to allow for easier turns and truck movements. The left turn lane length would be extended and the center median on Red Lion Road would be pulled back to allow for easier turns.
Country Club Boulevard intersection: Construct driveway and pedestrian facilities.
Global Road intersection: Construct driveway and pedestrian facilities. Left turns from eastbound Red Lion Road onto the project site will not be allowed.
There will also be improvements to traffic signaling including updated timing and push buttons and cooldown timers for pedestrians.
Neighbors questioned whether the rumble strips along Sandmeyer Lane or trucks on the site backing up would be loud enough to bother nearby residences. Backup beepers will be replaced with white noise beepers, which produce a white noise that adjusts to ambient noise outside. Neighbors shouldn’t hear the sounds, managers said.
Giuffre said the site would create up to 1,200 jobs, 356 of which would be full time. Other jobs would be part time or for students who receive tuition benefits.
The property at 1 Red Lion Road was purchased by Commercial Development Corp. from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in March 2018.
The 1 million-square-foot warehouse will stand 44 feet tall at its highest point. The closest residence to the project is 484 feet away, across Red Lion Road. Following feedback from the CDR meeting, more trees and shrubs will be landscaped around the perimeter of the property, bringing the total to 1,005 plants.
A sound wall will be installed in the northwest corner and a berm will help slow down noise travel.
A similar meeting was hosted the following night with the Sandmeyer Lane businesses group. A meeting has not yet been scheduled with the Somerton Civic Association, the project’s Registered Community Organization.
A second CDR meeting is scheduled for Nov. 10. Chris Bordelon, president of the SCA, requested that the CDR schedule the presentation for a later date as they attempt to schedule a meeting with the SCA. ••