This project involves addressing the safety and operational needs at the Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) intersection with Route 841 (London Grove Road) in the Village of Chatham in London Grove Township, Chester County.
The Purpose and Need statement is the foundation of all transportation projects. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe and efficient means of accommodating the regional movement of people, goods, and services and to provide for local access connections to support the existing community and businesses in the village of Chatham. The need identifies the key problems associated with the intersection. The problems are quantifiable, are based on fact, and are supported by such factors as traffic data, safety and crash data, and accessibility.
In July 2014, PennDOT Engineering District 6-0 completed a “PA 41 Intersections Study” which evaluated capacity and summarized crash data for the Route 41 and Route 841 intersection. Over half of the 363 survey respondents indicated that they find it difficult to cross Route 41 mainly due to the traffic volumes on PA 41 (196 occurrences), sight distance limitations (167 occurrences), and speeds on PA 41 (151 occurrences). Approximately 39% of the survey respondents indicated that they avoid the Route 841 (London Grove Road) and Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) intersection. A Road Safety Audit (RSA) was conducted in May 2014 with a multi-disciplinary team made up of PennDOT and Township staff as well as local interest groups. A common concern mentioned during the RSA for the intersection is that it is confusing with the 5-legs. The results of the studies were used in developing the following project needs:
A project goal is to maintain access from Twin Pines Healthcare Center to the Route 841 (London Grove Road) and Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) intersection. Also, it is a project goal to allow the intersection to accommodate farm equipment, which can be up to 17 feet in width.
Various alternatives were evaluated for this project. The final preliminary planning report was developed based on recent studies, plus public input gained from project workshops and from comments received on the draft report. The final report provides a list of alternatives to be carried forward into detailed studies, which will refine the alternatives to minimize environmental impacts and address public comment.
Hard copies of the report are available for viewing at London Grove Township, or can be reviewed from this webpage. While the report is considered final, we invite citizens to comment on it and on each alternative that is recommended for further study. We will address these comments as we work through the detailed study phase of the project.
There were five alternatives presented at the Public Open House in June 2019. These alternatives include: Alternative 5A; Alternative 5B; Alternative 6; Alternative 9; and Alternative 10.
An open house plans display was held on June 11, 2019 at the Stillwaters Presbyterian Church with members of PennDOT’s project design team. The public was able to review plans, discuss the alternatives with the design team, and provide comments. The handouts provided during the public plans display can be found here.
To help narrow down the number of alternatives and move forward into the next stage of the design process, comment cards were distributed to survey the public. The results showed that Alternative 5A, 5B, and 6 were the top three preferred options. A full summary of comments received is available here. Since the June 2019 Public Plans Display, Alternatives 9 and 10 were dismissed; Alternatives 5A, 5B and 6 will be carried forward into design.
A comment response document was prepared and provides PennDOT’s responses to the comments received during the plans display. It can be found here.
During the June 2019 Public Plans Display, several comments from the public indicated support for the location of Alternative 6 but with a roundabout instead of a stop-controlled intersection. Since the public meeting, Alternative 6 was studied as a roundabout and satisfies all of the project needs. Alternative 6 as a roundabout was further reviewed. In a meeting with PennDOT and FHWA representatives, Alternative 6 was dismissed due to the impacts to the surrounding environment and community. There are currently two alternatives remaining- Alternative 5a and Alternative 5b.
Some of the design development activities completed since the planning study include gathering more detailed project mapping/land surveys, obtaining public right-of-ways, documenting existing public utilities, and determining property ownership. In addition, coordination was initiated with state and federal resource agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission) as well as the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission.
Due to the complexity of the engineering solutions and environmental features involved with the project, it may take several years to complete the design process and move forward with construction of the preferred alternative. PennDOT will continue to coordinate with London Grove Township and local and interested citizens to share information and to gather additional input.
A preferred alternative has not yet been selected. Each of the two remaining alternatives includes a roundabout design which involves re-aligning the Route 841 approaches to the intersection. There are a few steps in the PennDOT transportation development process to be completed prior to the selection of a preferred alternative. Over the next few months, the project team will be initiating the Section 106 coordination process. In the past, we accomplished Section 106 consultation with a combination of in-person meetings, mailings, and postings on PennDOT Project PATH. We are currently developing our approach to moving this consultation process forward. The consulting party coordination will likely extend through 2021. If you are interested, the following link provides a summary of the cultural and natural resource laws and regulations PennDOT must follow: Resource Laws and Regulations.