The Water Dept., through its contractor Nello Construction, is replacing its infrastructure on Allens Lane from Wissahickon Avenue to Germantown Avenue to safeguard our water service. The current pipes were installed in 1892 and have outlived their useful lifespan. Almost 7,000 feet of pipes will be replaced and 16 new fire hydrants will be installed.
Representatives of the Philadelphia Water Dept., Streets Department, PennDot and the contractor, Nello Construction, sat at a panel listening and taking in all the comments, suggestions, and ire that residents had stored up for the past few weeks. Two staff members from Councilperson Cindy Bass's office were also present to assure the city keeps its promises to residents.
Each official had an opportunity to talk about the project and the role they play in its completion before residents asked questions or cited their concerns. Residents were outraged by the lack of communication shared before embarking upon such a project. Although residents welcome the need to replace the piping on Allens Lane, it was clear that the lack of coordination of traffic and communication around the project was not effective.
Although the entire project's completion date is projected to be March 2013, the work on each two-block section takes approximately 2-3 weeks. According to the Project Supervisor, the materials are currently on order. Since the departments can't be sure of what they'll find until they start digging up the old pipes, some special supplies can only be ordered after work begins. On a positive note, the construction company expects to reopen the McCallum and Allens Lane intersection in late February.
Residents offered several suggestions including the following:
1. Removal of the traffic light on Emlen Street and Allens Lane and replacement with a 4-way stop sign.
2. Temporary installation of a traffic light on Mt. Airy Avenue and Emlen Street (an alternative was a 4-way stop sign at that intersection.
3. Detour signs strategically place well in advance of arriving at McCallum Street and Allens lane – diverting traffic to other roadways.
4. A stop sign at Cherokee Street and Mt. Pleasant Avenue.
The Streets Department agreed to complete a survey and begin posting better signage no later than February 7th. Laura Copeland, Public Information Officer for PWD, agreed to serve as the point of contact between residents and all other entities involved in the project. Marilyn Cohen, Executive Director of WMAN, asks all residents to copy WMAN in all notices so WMAN can retain a journal of issues and support the community in follow-up.
Laura can be reached at 215-685-4902
. Marilyn can be reached at Marilyn@wman.net
The Water Department is launching a Construction section on its website on 2/6/2012 that will provide regular updates. Please visit: phillywatersheds.org/alerts on Feb. 6th and click on Allens Lane.