Martic Rail Trail Project Behind Schedule After Amtrak Denies Planned Power Line Shutdown | community news

When: Meeting of Martic Township Overseers, June 6th.

What happened: The completion date for renovations to the Trestle Bridge on the Enola Low Grade Trail in Martic Township was shaken up after Amtrak officials denied a long-planned shutdown of power lines running overhead.

background: Renovations to the scaffolding that burned down in a 2018 arson necessitated a shutdown of the electrical overhead wires that power the Amtrak-Keystone rail line. The 6-hour shutdown was necessary to allow cranes to offload 100-foot girders for the bridge project. In May, officials from Amtrak and JD Eckman of Atglen, the contractors on the renovation project, chose a specific 6-hour power cut window for Sunday, June 4th. This date, chosen by the two parties, placed the project a few weeks behind schedule. The planned completion date of the bridge was August 4th, the track work is to follow later.

What happened: About two hours before the scheduled shutdown — with cranes, beam tractors, other equipment, labor and materials all waiting in a staging area — Amtrak emailed JD Eckman to officials to let them know the lack of manpower prevented them from shutting down the electricity and the planned time frame.

Quotable: “At 4 p.m. we were told by Amtrak that they could not conduct the outage. At the last minute they said they couldn’t find enough workers. It made everyone panic,” said JD Eckman project manager Jenn Leibig. She said the power cut required three Amtrak employees.

costs add up: Leibig said delays after the planned June 4 power outage would add about $2,000 per day to project costs due to the presence of rented carrier placement equipment on site.

What’s next: Leibig said an alternative date for the closure was being proposed, but as of June 21, after several attempts to reach officials, it was not known if the closure had happened.

In other shops: Managers authorized enforcement action to proceed against Melissa and Frank Ralph, owners of 413 Hilldale Road. The application authorizes the municipality to file a civil suit for non-compliance. Chairman Duane Sellers said the property in question has had complaints from neighbors about trash and a dumpster filled with trash and debris that has been on the property “for well over a year”. Vendors said the owners failed to request a zoning committee hearing, as required by community regulations, prompting the non-compliance lawsuit.

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