Bridgeville, Upper St. Clair residents still fight Bedner farm plan

March 8, 2012 5:48 am

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A traffic engineer for a developer who plans to construct 136 new homes in Upper St. Clair said he is "not at all concerned" about major traffic impacts from the project.

But, dozens of local homeowners and officials are.

"I don't care what the traffic study shows, I wait in that traffic," said Ira Unger of Upper St. Clair, who was among a group of about 100 people who turned out Monday night for part two of a public hearing held by Upper St. Clair commissioners.

Most opposed the proposal and disputed findings from traffic engineer Chuck Wooster.

Dr. Unger, who said traffic in the area would be made "intolerable" by the new development, asked Upper St. Clair commissioners to "do the right thing" and reject the plan until it includes access to an arterial road, such as Bower Hill Road.

"If it takes taxpayer money to build an access road to Bower Hill, so be it," he said.

Right now, the plan, being forwarded by Heartland Homes in conjunction with J.T. Thomas Homes, would include new homes ranging in price from $350,000 to $1.5 million on the 120-acre Bedner family farm. It is one of the last large tracts of undeveloped land in the township.

At issue is the new traffic that would be created by the development, which includes entrances at Cook School Road, Scarlett Drive and Bridgeville's busy Main Street.

Though Mr. Wooster said his traffic study showed no major impact from the new development, he acknowledged that two nearby intersections are already considered "failing" by traffic engineers and would be made worse with more traffic.

Two of the intersections considered to be particularly congested are the McLaughlin Run Road/Bower Hill Road intersection and the intersection of McMillan and Painters Run roads.

The comments came as residents of Upper St. Clair and Bridgeville once again packed the Upper St. Clair commissioners meeting Monday night for a public hearing into the developer's plans, which had been continued from Feb. 6. Commissioners are expected to vote on the issue during the third and final part of the hearing, scheduled for April 2.

"This is a public safety issue," said Upper St. Clair resident Cathy Minallo, who suggested that Upper St. Clair commission its own traffic study.

Bridgeville Councilman Bill Colussy agreed and said the borough could not afford to conduct a traffic study, though council members recently approved spending $1,600 to review Mr. Wooster's findings.

Janice Crompton: jcrompton@post-gazette.com or 412-851-1867.
First Published 2012-03-08 04:34:33

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