Lower Dolington Road Trail “Punch Lists”
UPDATE: The original dead line for fixing the problems identified in the official “FINAL PUNCHLIST” was 8 September 2023. As of 24 September 2023, NO work has been done to fix any of the following “punchlist” items.
A punch list, according to the online Business Dictionary, is “a document listing work that does not conform to contract specifications.” Put simply, it is a list of to-do’s that need to be completed before a project can be considered finished.
There are TWO Lower Dolington Road Trail (LDRT) Punch Lists:
- an unofficial “Citizen’s Punch List” and
- an official FINAL PUNCHLIST prepared by Remington-Vernick Engineering (RVE), the township engineering firm
- First, Some History
- Official Punch List
- Citizen’s Punch List
- Signs obscured by trees
- Trees planted under power lines
- Aesthetically unpleasing metal guiderails set too close to travel lane
- More Issues Identified By Citizens
- Loose Guardrail Attenuator
- Poor Installation of Guardrail Posts
- Guardrail Posts Too Close Together
- Standing Water on ADA Ramp
- Loose Stones Could Be Hazard to Motorists
- Other Concerns
- UnSafe/ADA Access to the Trail from the Friends Village
- Pavement Cutout Could Be Hazard to Motorists
- Unfinished Crosswalk Markings
- Sunken Manholes
On August 2, 2023, residents, representatives of RVE, and two supervisors “toured” the LDRT at the request of resident Mike Marcus, a licensed civil engineer. The residents’ objective was to review with the Township Engineer issues that they thought needed to be addressed. See “Citizen’s Punch List” list below.
At the August 9, 2023, BOS meeting, Supervisor Mack asked Mr. Kessler – a representative RVE – if he will have a report from the tour. Mr. Kessler responded: “What we went over with the residents and the supervisors that were there for the walk, was kind of based on our punch list already generated for the contractor. So it was good to get feedback from some of the residents as well to either add to that or confirm that there are items that the contractor needs to address while it's complete in the construction phase.” [Source: transcript of 8/9/2023 BOS meeting prepared by Youtube from the official video; beginning at timestamp 35:36]
On August 29, 2023, the township released a LDR Trail project “FINAL PUNCHLIST” based on the Township Engineer's field inspection conducted on August 23, 2023.
According to the instructions given to the contractor – Associated Paving Contractors, Inc. – by the Township Engineer:
“All (33) items shall be performed at the expense of Associated Paving Contractors, Inc. unless otherwise noted. Work must be completed by Friday, September 8, 2023. Failure to meet this deadline may result in the assessment of Engineering and Inspection fees and/or liquidated damages as outlined in the contract documents. Our firm [RVE] will schedule a close-out inspection after the list has been completed. The Township, and its representing agencies, also reserve the right to review the project site prior to the close-out inspection regarding completion of current items and the documenting of additional items.”
I hope to be part of the “Township” contingent that reviews the project site after punch list items are fixed so that I can point out additional issues – especially those that are not addressed in the FINAL PUNCHLIST.
After the tour and August 9 BOS Meeting, a local resident informed me about additional problems/issues regarding this project. A few of the major issues are described below in what I call a “Citizen Punch List.” How many of these items are included in the official final punch list? Read on to find out.
Some items cited by citizens during the August Tour of the LDRT site include the following (most of the following images and comments were made by residents):
- “Stop Signs” not visible: obscured by trees. NOTE: Trees at Woods of Saxony were trimmed on 08/29/23. The official FINAL PUNCHLIST specifies the relocation of signs that are obscured by trees and/or other signs.
- “Stop Ahead” signs way too close to intersection for designed speed limit. I believe this issue is addressed in the FINAL PUNCHLIST.
NOTE: On 8/22/2023, I received an email from a resident who is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Traffic Signal Design Expert who said:
“I was on Lower Dollington Road (LDR) where Stop signs (currently bagged) are designated on the high volume LDR. This is at the crossing of the new shared use path. I find this to be a complete misuse of a Stop control per the Federal Manual on Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
“The installation of a stop sign on this roadway is not just misuse but could lead to a serious crash since a stop sign is no expected for through traffic this higher-level roadway and drivers may blow through the sign without stopping. I would like to see the required engineering study by a professional engineer, which is required by the MUTCD, that justified the stop sign installation. at this location.
“The trail crossing should be signed with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) with a Stop for Pedestrians signs, not a Stop sign.”
NOTE: Item #20 of the FINAL PUNCHLIST states: “Maintain coverings on signage until field verified by RVE.”
- Trees planted underneath power lines or too close to fence. One resident just had this to say: “The tree plantings are stupid.” Item #1 of the FINAL PUNCHLIST states: “Relocate ornamental tree to location shown on the plan (near the bench).” NOTE: One resident referred to the tree plantings simply as “stupid.”
- Aesthetically unpleasing metal guiderails set too close to travel lane [read “LDR Trail Guardrails: Why Metal and Not Wood?”]. Residents witnessed motorists crossing over double-yellow line to avoid possible impact.
- Drain inlet type potential hazard to cyclists
- Recommend signage on trail – “Motorized Vehicles Prohibited” or similar.
Loose Guardrail Attenuator
The guardrail attenuator opposite the Friends Village entrance was not bolted to the post and is loose as illustrated in the following video:
The guardrail attenuator opposite the Friends Village entrance on Lower Dolington Rd was not bolted to the post and is loose as illustrated in this video taken on August 3, 2023.— johnmacknewtown (@johnmacknewtown) August 24, 2023
The more I look into how these guardrails were installed, the more I question the design. I don’t… pic.twitter.com/9NwY7objSJ
Item #31 of the FINAL PUNCHLIST states “Between Stanford Drive &Everett Drive: Complete installation of guiderail end treatment.”
Poor Installation of Guardrail Posts
As seen at the guardrail along the northbound lane of LDR opposite Friends Village:
Item #19 of the FINAL PUNCHLIST states “Reinstall the guiderail so that the guiderail is not within the trail. Trail is to be 8'side in this section. Fill all holes with bituminous material and seal holes.” Item #21 states “Install washers on all guiderail posts and seal around all post bottoms.”
Guardrail Posts Too Close Together
View of guardrail along the northbound lane of LDR opposite Friends Village:
Comment from resident with engineering degree: “The more I look into how these guardrails were installed, the more I question the design,” said the resident. “I don’t ever recall seeing so many posts spaced at 18 inches apart. Typical spacing is 6 ft. 3 in. Too many posts may make the system too rigid; like hitting a solid wall and not allow for the energy of the impact to dissipate more gradually.
“I would offer that an independent assessment of these guardrails from a reputable company may be prudent to help identify any potential issues,” said the resident.
Another resident offered this explanation: “Could the extra guardrail posts be extra protective for pedestrians?”
Not Addressed in the FINAL PUNCHLIST.
Standing Water on ADA Ramp!
The curb ramp at the southeast corner of LDR and Stanford Dr is subject to ponding as shown in the following video. “Should be replaced,” said the resident.
I notified the Township Engineer and Township Manager/Supervisors of this problem via email on 16 August 2023:
“The newly-constructed Lower Dolington Road (LDR) Trail included construction of ADA ramps to connect to crosswalks across LDR allowing access to the trail. At the south east corner of Stanford Dr and LDR, there is standing water that in the winter will [when this will be ice, not liquid water] present a hazard to anyone crossing at that location. The elderly and people with disabilities will be the most susceptible to slipping and falling.”
Item #32 of the FINAL PUNCHLIST states “Stanford Drive SW Corner: Remove & Replace concrete sidewalk where water is ponding.” I would have said “SE corner of the intersection of LDR and Stanford Drive/Place.” I see some markings where the ponding is, so my guess is that the contractor knows which ADA ramp needs fixing.
Loose Stones Could Be Hazard to Motorists
Loose stones forming the Drainage structure at the Frost Lane/LDR intersection (northbound lane) could end up in the travel lane. It was recommended that this be replaced with a gabion basket or some type of improved erosion control to prevent stones ending up on the road. NOT ADDRESSED IN THE FINAL PUNCHLIST.
There are other issues that may be more associated with the repaving of LDR than with the trail itself or not part of the trail plan. Consequently, remedies may not be part of the official FINAL PUNCHLIST. Nevertheless, they should be corrected by whichever contractor is responsible.
UnSafe/ADA Access to the Trail from the Friends Village
Before the “tour,” I brought up a couple of LDRT issues that I asked to be addressed during the tour. One of these issues is access to the trail by residents of the Friends Village (FV) located on LDR between Stanford Place and Everett Drive.
I was informed that there would be a crosswalk to the trail at Stanford Pl, which can be used by FV residents via the “Meadow.” However, the plan does NOT call for a crosswalk on the FV side of Stanford Pl. FV residents would have to cross Stanford Pl and venture into LDR beyond the “fog line” to get access to the crosswalk across LDR to the trail (see image below).
I noted that a “matching” curb ramp on the south side of Stanford Pl was inexplicitly removed during the construction of the trail (see “B” in image). That curb ramp would have permitted an easier and SAFER path for FV residents to get to the marked crossing to the trail on the south side of Stanford Pl. Perhaps replacing the missing curb ramp should be included in the “official” punch list. Not Addressed in the FINAL PUNCHLIST.
Pavement Cutout Could Be Hazard to Motorists
There is a cutout in the pavement on the northbound lane of LDR just north of Frost Lane (see photo). “Outlined area shown in photo below should have been paved,” said the resident who added: “Potential hazard for motorists.”
When I informed the Township Engineer about this, I was told that “the pavement is slightly notched out there due to the contractor needing so accommodate the underground stormwater infiltration trench. The pavement edge was sawcut so they could make the excavation for the trench.” I was not aware that additional work must be done to install the trench.
Item #26 of the FINAL PUNCHLIST states “Trench 3: Sawcut edge of bituminous pavement - Work performed by Harris Blacktopping.” No action was specified
Unfinished Crosswalk Markings
A resident noted that there were missing white lines in the crosswalk at Stanford Drive. I think she was referring to what’s shown in image B below where the arrows point to missing sections. I noticed on the other end of this crosswalk and the one at Frost Lane (image A) that the markings were not extended all the way to the curb. Usually, short sections continue to the curb (see arrows). In the image you can see the guideline extends all the way to the curb, which suggests to me that whoever painted the markings did follow the guide and, consequently, did not do a complete job.
Note that Associated Paving Contractors, Inc. were not hired to paint the crosswalks. This job, I believe, was done by the company who repaved LDR (Harris Blacktopping). Consequently, this was Not Addressed in the FINAL PUNCHLIST, which concerns only the work done on the trail.
Manhole or Pothole? At least one manhole cover on LDR is so far below the paved road, it almost seems like a safety hazard (see image). Hitting one of these may seem like driving over a pothole. The aim should be to get the utility covers flush or slightly below flush with the roadway, within a reasonable tolerance.
It may be possible to fix this problem using “manhole risers” to get the cover near the top of the pavement.
This is the responsibility of the company who repaved LDR. Consequently, this was Not Addressed in the FINAL PUNCHLIST, which concerns only the work done on the trail.
Posted on 31 Aug 2023, 01:17 - Category: Development