Here are just a few pictures of the damage that was done on Purdue Mt. Road during the rain storm of 10/20 – 21/2016. The road is closed at the Bellefonte end. This area is severely undermined and is not safe to travel upon. A temporary cul-de-sac was constructed at approximately 617 Purdue Mt. Road for the plow trucks/garbage trucks, etc. to be able to turn around.
This is what we do know:
*Meetings have been taking place with PEMA (Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency) and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). FEMA has committed to funding to fix repairs on damaged roads in the amount of 75%. PEMA has committed to contributions of 25%. This is a complex process. The Township will be meeting again with the team of PEMA and FEMA representatives in upcoming days to move forward in preparing our next steps.
*The township has contacted a geotechnical engineering firm to see what they feel will be required to repair the roadway to a safe and usable condition. Core samples were drilled and taken November 18 – 22nd. The Township recently received the analysis of the core samples. They will be used in assisting engineers in how to design the repairs for the roadway.
*We have heard from residents that after watching a recent Centre County Board of Commissioner’s meeting that it was expressed during the meeting that temporary repairs are being planned in the next month. This is NOT the case. There is no way to make temporary repairs to this section of the roadway. The permanent repair will be the only repair made.
*All public services (fire, ambulance, garbage, school district, snow plowing) have been made aware of this unfortunate occurrence, and all will continue to give you the best service possible.
***Update – 4/7/17: The Township has received proposals from Engineering firms for the design of the repair work needed fo the roadway and awarded the contract for design at the Board’s meeting on April 3rd. The design work must now be completed. Once design is completed, bid documents will be prepared and placed out for advertisement. This work (design and bidding) will take a couple of months.
****Update 5/9/17: Bid documents for the pile and lagging wall are complete and will be advertised for bids. Bids are scheduled to be opened on June 5th. It is our goal to have the construction done and open to traffic by the start of the school year. That being said, we are already having to have the engineer’s details re-reviewed by PEMA and FEMA because the length of the walls are longer than what FEMA and PEMA have approved. They (FEMA and PEMA) will only reimburse the Township for the distances that were written in the original paperwork. The additional length must have justification behind it and approval by FEMA and PEMA prior to the work being started to be eligible for reimbursement. This approval is a process. Just this addtional wall length could be well over an additional $100,000 in work. We are moving on this as fast as possible, but nothing about this is fast. And as we have stated, we do not have the money to pay back if they find that we tried to take short cuts to circumvent their process.
******Update 6/20/2017: Late last week the Township received approval from PEMA and FEMA for the additional length required to repair the road failures. The Board of Supervisors opened bids for the work at their meeting on June 5th. The apparent low bidder was HRI, Inc. On 6/19/17, the Township gave notice of intent to award the contract to HRI, Inc. We are told that there is a month up to 6 week wait time for the steel pilings that will be used in constructing the pile and lag wall. The “goal” is to have the road reopened as near as to the start of the upcoming school year as possible.
*******Update 6/29/17: We have been told by HRI, Inc. that a more realistic completion date will be the end of September.
**********Updated 9/6/17: The steel pilings that were specified for the project were not going to be available from the supplier until the 4th quarter of 2018. So instead larger pilings will be used. This required reviews from FEMA and PEMA and an additional $30,000. As soon as the materials are received the work will proceed. The latest time estimate is the end of November. (added 9/12/17) We understand that everyone is getting frustrated at how long of a process this is. However everyone is working as quickly as possible, no one is stalling. Don’t believe everything that you hear. If you have questions, please call the office. 355-1419. Yes, this is inconvenient. However, we are all very fortunate that it wasn’t a situation like Texas, Florida or the US Virgin Islands where people have lost their lives, homes, cars, schools, places of employment, food and water, etc.