HomeNewsFox Chase braces for Pine Road closure

Fox Chase braces for Pine Road closure

City Department of Streets officials visited last week’s Fox Chase Civic Association meeting to discuss the upcoming closure of the Pine Road Bridge over Pennypack Creek.

The bridge was built in 1977 and is in need of repair. Work will begin on April 1 and continue until the end of the year.

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Loftus Construction will perform the work on a bridge that sees 8,220 vehicles per day. The sidewalks will be increased from 6 feet to 9 feet in width. The city and state are funding the project, which will cost $4.055 million.

To bypass the bridge, vehicles will be directed to Rhawn Street, Verree Road and Bloomfield Avenue, though residents expect drivers to also use side streets.

Many people were unhappy, for a variety of reasons.

The city has not contacted the 2nd or 7th police districts, and Rockledge Mayor James Caffrey said his office was not alerted.

Residents want PennDOT to pave pothole-filled Verree Road – which floods at some points after rainfall – before bridge reconstruction, as originally planned. They fear backups on Rhawn and said already-crowded Huntingdon Pike and the portion of Verree Road near Baldi Middle School will see even more traffic.

To slow down motorists expected to drive faster during the detour, several people suggested adding temporary speed bumps.

Residents want work done during two shifts and/or the weekend, but that does not appear likely. They questioned why the work would take so long when I-95 was repaired 12 days after a fire caused a road collapse. Gov. Josh Shapiro lives in nearby Abington, they noted, in hopes of speeding up the work.

Some members asked Bill Gural, chief construction engineer at the streets department, to delay the project, but he said that’s not possible.

In other news from the March 13 meeting:

• Law enforcement representatives on hand were Capt. Marc Metellus, community relations officer Mark Mroz and officer Sean Burgess, all of the 2nd Police District; Joe Staszak, community relations of the 7th district; and Rockledge Police Chief John Gallagher.

Burgess was recognized for applying tourniquets at the scene of the March 6 shooting of eight Northeast High School students at a bus stop at 7300 Rising Sun Ave. in Burholme.

Metellus said the incident stemmed from an Olney vs. Lawncrest gang war.

The four suspects stole a Kia on the 7800 block of Horrocks St., then dropped it on the 500 block of Kendrick St. in Fox Chase. There, they stole a Hyundai Sonata that they used to drive to a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot to try to kill an intended target.

All the teens shot survived. 

Joe Staszak, community relations officer in the 7th Police District, said the Easter Bunny will be at the district, 1701 Bowler St., on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children will receive a goodie bag while supplies last.

Gallagher said the second annual St. Cecilia School Legacy Run will take place on Saturday, April 20. The event is a 5K run/1-mile walk that raises money for a scholarship fund that benefits students at St. Cecilia who have a parent who is an alum of St. Cecilia or St. William. Sign up at https://runningintheusa.com/details/137457.

• Corp. John Loudenslager American Legion Post 366, 7976 Oxford Ave., will host a pancake breakfast on Sunday, April 7, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $8 and includes pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, tater tots, coffee, tea and orange juice.

• There will be a town hall meeting on changes to Castor Avenue on Saturday, March 30, from 9-11 a.m. at 6434 Castor Ave. State Rep. Jared Solomon and PennDOT will be on hand. Parking is available behind the building.

• Among those in attendance was Aizaz Gill, president of Burholme Civic Association and a Republican candidate in the 172nd Legislative District. ••

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