A Few Bumps In Lenni Rd.
As former council person, engaged citizen and most recently a founding member of Chester Heights Neighbors Alliance I have received many complaints about the current condition of Lenni Rd. The issues raised are twofold: inadequate and confusing detours and of course, the condition of the road surface itself.
Lenni Road is a state road identified as SR 3032, therefore any work along the road or on the road surface itself is managed by PennDOT. This includes road work permits, closures, snow plowing and paving. In early 2018 Aqua Pennsylvania, the water company, began work along Lenni Road to replace a series of pipes within the road. This work has wreaked havoc for all the neighborhoods whose roads intersect with Lenni, as well as all the local residents and passers through who use Lenni Road for everyday travel.
Inadequate and Confusing Detour Signs
Since the road work began neighbors, visitors, and service providers have been denied access to various neighborhoods and roads that intersect with Lenni Road. Some have been told that there is “No Access”, while others have been forced to drive around in circles when going to visit family or trying to get home. For those who don’t know the side roads this has been a frustrating experience. Especially since the Flagger Force folks directing traffic are often not familiar with our area and can offer little or no help.
We reached out to Aqua and PennDOT on this issue and discovered that a state road can only be detoured through another state road; therefore Lenni could not officially be detoured through a neighborhood, and though there are exceptions, this project does not warrant it. Also the constantly changing nature of the work requires updates to detour signs along Lenni Road intersections almost daily, and cannot simply rely on the semi-permanent detours posted at Pennel and Llewelyn Roads. This clearly has not been happening.
At our request, PennDOT committed to sending out a traffic crew to review the detour signs to make sure that they are moved and updated to reflect the correct detours when the work location changes. We also suggested that perhaps each day the construction and traffic crew could discuss exactly where the work is going to take place and provide resources to the traffic crew to help people get around, but I’m not sure that is going to go anywhere.
Will Lenni Road Ever be Paved?
The simple quick and dirty answer to Will Lenni Road Ever be Paved? Is – Yes, Lenni Road is going to be paved by the end of 2018.
When I moved here in May of 2015 Lenni Road was in poor shape. Now with the work being done by Aqua, the Winter of a many small snow falls which required continuous salt and plowing, it is now in sub-par, “hold on to your wheels”, and “let’s hope your suspension makes it through 2018” kind of shape.
The future looks promising,but not painless to those living along and traveling through on Lenni Rd.
In February 2018 – May 2018 Aqua replaced pipes in Lenni Road which included the temporary patch filler that we can kindly call “hold-on to your wheels patch.” Next on the agenda, May 2018 – August 2018 Aqua will be finalizing their permanent trench restoration. Which will require more detours but will also make your drive feel much less like a wooden roller-coaster ride. Once this permanent patch settles for a minimum of 45 days, PennDOT will be doing a “mill and overlay” or paving of the entire length of Lenni Rd. as part of the PennDOT DD9 contract, ECMS Project No. 109039.
But that’s not all folks, in 2018 SEPTA will be closing part of Lenni Road to complete their road grading project as part of their WAWA-ELWYN LINE RESTORATION. The timeline has not yet been finalized, but the start date it is looking like August of 2018. The closure is expected to last 4 month and could be concurrent with the paving that PennDOT will be doing along the road. PennDOT will be paving up to the SEPTA Grading project markers form both sides.
In conclusion, a resolutions to our Lenni Road troubles is coming, but we must arm ourselves with patience since there will be a few more bumps in the road before it’s smooth driving down Lenni Rd.