On June 12 I attended a meeting at the Londonderry Township building to check out the four options being proposed for the crossroads of Routes 41 and 926. Let me try to describe them by explaining how a motorist who is westbound on 926 and wants to cross 41 would be affected.
Alternative 1: 926 would no longer cross 41 head-to-head; the junctions would be staggered. The motorist would have to travel on the re-routed 926 (which would enter 41 just south of where it does now), turn right onto 41, then turn left on the re-routed other side of 926. Price tag: $1 million.
Alternative 3 (an earlier Alternative 2 was taken off the table): Instead of crossing 41 directly, the motorist would enter a four-armed roundabout connecting the four parts of the roads in question. 926 west of 41 would be slightly rerouted, as would 41 just south of the roundabout. Price tag: $4.1 million.
Alternative 4: Instead of crossing 41 directly, the motorist would turn right onto 41 and would enter a three-armed roundabout connecting directly with a slightly rerouted 926. Price tag: $3.5 million.
Alternative 5: The motorist would travel on a rerouted 926 to enter 41 just south of (toward Chatham) the current intersection. He or she would travel north (toward Cochranville) to enter a three-armed roundabout before turning left on a slightly rerouted 926. Price tag: $4.0 million.
Bear in mind that the dollar figures are for construction only, not the costs of obtaining right-of-ways or handling utilities.
Detailed maps of all of the options are available online at the website pa41.com. When you're looking at the online maps, bear in mind that Cochranville is to the left, Chatham to the right.
At the meeting I heard residents, including truckers, people hauling horse trailers, and people who live near the crossroads, telling the PennDOT engineers in no uncertain terms what they liked and didn't like about the alternatives. The agency is seeking additional comments; you can send your feedback via the website or to Rob Nuss, Erdman Anthony, 100 Sterling Parkway, Suite 212, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050.
According to PennDOT, "over the next several months, PennDOT will review the engineering considerations, environmental impacts and public and agency comments on the alternatives to determine which alternative provides the best balance in meeting the project needs and minimizing environmental impacts."