Work on Warren and Ben Franklin

Tarps mark where holes have been drilled for new utility poles that will carry traffic signals at Warren and Ben Franklin roads in White Township.

Crews are conducting long-awaited work on a traffic signal at Warren Road and Ben Franklin Road South in White Township.

“They’ll bore under Warren Road, to connect the two poles with a conduit,” township Manager Milt Lady said at the end of Wednesday’s board of supervisors meeting. “They’ll do some terminations at each end, then they will come back when the poles are delivered and erect the poles.”

It’s a two-day effort, which will be followed by delivery of those poles by early April.

All that in turn will be the first half of an ongoing effort to bring new signals to a busy intersection between Route 422 (Philadelphia Street) and Oakland Avenue.

It all started when PennDOT awarded the township a $172,545 Green Light-Go grant plus a required $43,200 township match.

The township hoped the money from the state transportation department would cover all four poles. Instead, more money will be needed for the last two poles at that intersection.

White Township officials also recently expressed concern about another signal in downtown Indiana. PennDOT is preparing a culvert replacement at Philadelphia and 11th streets, with the removal this coming spring of a traffic signal there.

Lady was authorized by the township board to send state transportation officials a letter detailing that concern, in support of Indiana Borough officials opposed to the removal of that signal.

A response dated Jan. 22 from District 10 Executive Brian N. Allen reiterated PennDOT’s contention that the intersection did not meet federal traffic signal warrants, “thus not justifying the use of public funding for its replacement.”

Allen said previous experience with other traffic signal studies showed public perception “increased in a positive manner with increased familiarity of the new operation.”

Allen also wrote that “traffic signal installations are not a recommended practice to control vehicle speeds.”

In other traffic-related activity at Wednesday’s board meeting, Lady said the price of rock salt is going up 30 percent from the previous two-year contract obtained through the state CO-STARS program.

He said American Rock Salt agreed to $74.54 per ton, which would cover an order averaging out at 2,000 tons. The township manager said the range of that agreement is from 60 percent to 140 percent of that amount, or from 1,200 to 2,800 tons.