The Moore Township Board of Supervisors held a formal hearing on Thursday, June 22 to discuss the condition of Trach Road from Bauer Road to South Summit Road and its vacation.
During the hearing, Public Works Director Craig Hoffman provided testimony pertaining to his recommendation to vacate Trach Road.
Hoffman identified that the road is just under a half-mile long, roughly 15 feet wide, and consists of hard-packed stone and gravel. It is a single-lane road with no paving or road indications such as striping, used primarily by farm equipment with very few cars, and property that abuts the road on either side is preserved farmland.
Hoffman made the recommendation due to the township having significant problems with the road because of water runoff; since the road is lower than the fields on both sides there is no way to get rid of the water on the roadway, making it difficult to maintain.
Hoffman expressed that over the last three years since he has been director, he has noted that snow removal from the road takes approximately four to six hours, which is significantly longer than paved roads.
As it stands, the road has no purpose or use to the township, appears more like a driveway or private road, and would take the Public Works crew about six to seven hours to backfill the stone due to heavy rain, which is costly to the township.
Additionally, there is a large slope in the road, which creates limited sight for drivers. There are also no speed limit signs posted, which means that drivers can go up to 55 miles per hour on the road and often do, ending up in the ditches along the roadway.
Hoffman estimated the road costs the township $2,700 annually to refill the stone, and the township only receives $1,368 from the state in liquid fuels for the road, making it a hassle and financial burden to the township.
Township Engineer Kevin Horvath also reported the road is in poor condition and not anywhere near township standards. Therefore, remediating the road would cost the township approximately $125,000.
Horvath also presented that a traffic counter was placed on the road on April 23 and 24, and the average daily count of trips was 32 vehicles per day.
Police Chief Gary West testified that the road is not essential for emergency services.
Contiguous property owner Jeffrey Henderson stated that the land has been damaged by the water runoff and erosion of the road. Therefore, he requested that the township provide a one-time fill and grade before the road is vacated and gates at either end of the road to prevent traffic from utilizing it.
Solicitor Backenstoe explained the township cannot provide improvements to private property, but that the property owners bordering the road could do so if they wish since the vacation of the road places ownership of the road back into the hands of contiguous property owners.
Contiguous property owner Rudy Klein stated he wants to see the road closed because of how fast drivers travel on it, and that he is surprised there hasn’t been a fatal accident yet due to lack of visibility and the speed of drivers.
Klein also explained that drivers go through his fields when they can’t access the road, and that poachers currently use it to access his property.
However, Klein shared his biggest concern will be stopping people from using the road once it is vacated.
Henderson voiced similar concerns about drivers using the road as a cut through and ignoring signage.
All parties came to an agreement in regards to the township placing “Do Not Enter” signage along the roads that lead to Trach Road and providing temporary portable barricades at the entrances of the road for 90 days to prevent traffic from accessing it.
Supervisors voted unanimously to vacate Trach Road from Bauer Road to South Summit Road and provide/erect signage and temporary barricades leading up to and at either end of the road. Drivers should plan to use other roads, as Trach Road is now private property.
Due to the holiday, the next Moore Township Board of Supervisors meeting will be held Monday, July 10 at 6 p.m. in the municipal building, located at 2491 Community Dr.