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Forward, Adams townships aiming to widen Marburger Road

Marburger Road in Adams and Forward Township. William Pitts/Butler Eagle

Forward and Adams townships are seeking to apply to Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development for a Multimodal Transportation Fund grant to widen Marburger Road from 19.5 feet to 21 feet.

The catalyst for the idea to widen the road came up during a PennDOT Connects meeting in Indiana, Pa., in May, which was attended by Forward Township officials, including roadmaster Charles Behm and Supervisor Susan Oliver-Stough.

Behm cited the Merten Farms residential development, which is planned to be built along Marburger Road, as reason for widening the road. The development received final approval from township supervisors in March, but only narrowly, with some members expressing concerns about how the property will affect traffic.

“Marburger Road is a heavily traveled road, and with the Merten Farm development coming in ... there’s going to be increased traffic flow on that road,” Behm said. “We would like to widen it out to about 21 feet.”

In addition to widening the road, the townships also are seeking to improve visibility for drivers by cutting down the “hump” in the road by roughly four feet, reducing the risk of accidents.

“There’s a blind hump in the center of that road,” Behm said. “We would like to take that hump down about 4 feet to improve safe distance and to make it safer for travel.”

Forward and Adams townships will have to make this application jointly because Marburger Road straddles both. According to meeting minutes from a supervisors work session on June 4, more than 4,000 feet of Marburger Road are in Forward Township, with the remaining 1,000-plus feet in Adams Township.

According to DCED’s website, funds from the Multimodal Transportation Fund grant may be used “for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development.” Grant requests have a minimum of $100,000 and may not exceed $3 million.

Both townships have until the end of July to turn in their grant application, as that is the deadline for this year’s grant cycle. Forward Township is taking the lead on putting together the grant application.

Marburger Road in Adams and Forward Township. William Pitts/Butler Eagle

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