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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

U.S 1 Construction Project Moves Forward, Officials Say

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Progress this summer continues to be made on Penn DOT’s U.S 1  construction project with three bridges in various stages of completion, officials said last week.

The department provided a summer update on the Route 1 construction project, provided by TMA Bucks, the county’s transportation agency.

As four lanes of U.S. 1 traffic weave through the work zone from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange to the north of the Penndel Exit, PennDOT’s contractor continues making progress on three new bridges and other improvements being completed under the $111 million project to widen and improve U.S. 1 in Bensalem and Middletown townships, Bucks County.

New structures over the Neshaminy Creek, the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange and adjacent rail lines, and Rockhill Drive at the Neshaminy Exit are in various stages of completion.

 

Near the center of the mile-long work area, crews are dismantling the existing northbound bridge over the Neshaminy Creek and will begin building abutments for the new span this summer.

Four lanes of northbound and southbound U.S. 1 traffic were shifted onto the new southbound Neshaminy Creek bridge last spring following the completion of roadway improvements on both sides of the bridge.

North of the creek, abutment and center support pier construction continue on the new southbound bridge at the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange.

Working through the challenges of building a bridge over busy SEPTA/CSX rail lines and imposing PECO electric line towers, crews expect to finish building the bridge’s supports and installing deck beams in late September, with deck work continuing into the fall.

Up the hill south of the creek, vehicles are riding on new southbound pavement and shoulders and then over the existing southbound bridge over Rockhill Drive while the northbound side of the bridge is being constructed.

The new northbound bridge is anticipated to be completed by the end of summer. Once the northbound side is completed, traffic will be shifted onto the rebuilt section while crews demolish and reconstruct the southbound side of the overpass.

The stop sign at the end of the ramp from the PA Turnpike to northbound U.S. 1 also will be removed at this time as traffic entering the expressway will have a continuous third lane to merge with mainline traffic.

Last spring, following the completion of a long retaining wall to support the widened northbound pavement approaching the Neshaminy exit, traffic leaving and entering U.S. 1 was shifted onto new northbound on-off ramps.

Traffic was placed on the new off-ramp at the Penndel exit too.

The on-ramp to southbound U.S. 1 from Rockhill Drive remains closed for construction to improve the interchange. While the rebuilt southbound off-ramp here remains open, crews will reconstruct the southbound on-ramp during construction of the southbound side of the overpass, which is expected to be completed and the ramp reopened next spring.

Excavation north of the PA Turnpike continues in the shoulder areas to allow for the construction of an additional travel lane in both directions on U.S. 1 through the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange.

Widened sections on the northbound side will be completed and opened to traffic following the completion of the new northbound bridge over the Neshaminy Creek.

Section RC2 is part two of PennDOT’s three-phase project to improve four miles of U.S. 1 in Bucks County by reconstructing and widening the pavement, building several bridges, and improving several interchanges along a continuous three-mile section of highway in Bensalem and Middletown townships.

RC2 construction is expected to be completed in mid-2026.

In 2014, PennDOT completed $14.8 million in improvements at the U.S. 1/Maple Avenue Interchange in Middletown Township as part of their overall initiative to modernize and upgrade the U.S. 1 corridor in Bucks County.

A third project, RC3, will improve U.S. 1 from the Penndel/Business U.S. 1 Interchange north through the Route 413 overpass. The project remains in final design and is not yet scheduled for construction, PennDOT said.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

New LBTQ+ Advocacy Group Fairness Pennsylvania Launches

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Fairness Pennsylvania (FPA), the first full-time statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights program in several years kicked off on Monday, June 3 with Pennsylvania organizers, advocates, and legislators  at the state Capitol.

“We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Sarah Hammond, Fairness PA’s State Director, in a press release. “There are so many engaged activists and strong voices working right now in communities across the state. Our first priority is to identify ways that a new, statewide organization can assist these dedicated activists to move the needle here in Harrisburg and around the state.”

Hammond said. “…FPA is dedicated to promoting equality and fostering nondiscrimination principles in PA so that our LGBTQ+ community can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in our communities across the state.”

In a statement, Governor Josh Shapiro said, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of tolerance and understanding and I’m proud to stand alongside Fairness PA as they work to promote those values and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for all.”

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“No matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you deserve equal protection under the law in Pennsylvania….” said Shapiro. “It’s long past time we put partisanship aside and pass a nondiscrimination law that protects LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” continued the press release.

Hammond said that an immediate priority for Fairness PA would be passage of the Fairness Act, which would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in the state, according to the press release. The Fairness Act passed in the state House in April 2023 but has yet to be considered in the state Senate. Shapiro earlier this year called on on the General Assembly to finally come together and pass the Fairness Act.

Fairness Pennsylvania can be found online at fairnesspenn.org or @FairnessPA on social media.

For more information, please visit Fairness PA or contact Pete Shelly at pshelly@clearpointpa.com.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Man Charged for Possessing Kiddie Porn

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A Bensalem man stands accused of uploading and saving pornographic images involving children to his Google account.

Michael Dunbar, 55, was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Gallagher Thursday morning on one felony count of child pornography and one count of criminal use of communication facility with his bail set at 10 percent of $300,000.00.

According to Bensalem Police,  on Thursday, April 25, 2024, a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was received.  The tip referenced a particular Google account that had uploaded and saved numerous videos depicting child pornography, including prepubescent boys and girls engaging in sexual acts with each other. Detectives began an investigation and were able to determine that the owner/user of the Google account was Dunbar.

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, Bensalem Detectives served a search warrant on Dunbar’s residence.  The suspect was interviewed, and he allegedly admitted to intentionally uploading child pornography into his Google account after finding the videos on the Dark Web.

Bensalem authorities did not comment about the results of the  executed search warrant.

Dunbar was unable to post bail as of early Friday morning and was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility. He is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 2 and has no attorney of record presently, according to court records.

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. & Customers Raise More Than $400,000 For Healing Our Planet Initiatives

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Through its Healing Our Planet initiative, The GIANT Company today announced it raised $403,360 in partnership with its customers to support Planet Bee Foundation™ and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful™. During the month of May, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores were invited to round up their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar to support each organization.

“Action inspires action and small changes such as tree plantings and pollinator awareness can make a big difference when it comes to helping our planet, so thank you to our customers who rounded up at the register to support these green initiatives,” said Courtney Hopcraft, manager of charitable giving and community relations, The GIANT Company. “Over the four years of our Healing the Planet campaign, more than $6 million has been raised to grow health and sustainability initiatives centric to creating healthier communities and a more sustainable future.”

Announced earlier this month, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in partnership with The GIANT Company announced it will award Healing the Planet grants later this summer to local community organizations for tree plantings across Pennsylvania. Additional funding from The GIANT Company will support Pick Up Pennsylvania and local clean up, recycling and greening events.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to The GIANT Company for their support of native tree planting in their operating areas in Pennsylvania. Funding will also support our Pick Up Pennsylvania program, so we can continue to meet the needs of families, friends, neighbors, civic groups, nonprofits and municipalities working towards a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Cleaning and beautifying communities tends to reduce littering and other illegal behaviors, making it a better place for all residents and providing a foundation for community and economic development.”

Credit: Submitted

Planet Bee Foundation drives awareness for pollinators and the importance of bees as a pathway to STEM, conservation, and innovations in agriculture. Funding raised by The GIANT Company will support local beekeepers, research programs, and school and community programs.

“On behalf of Planet Bee Foundation, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The GIANT Company for their donation, which has educated and impacted over 109,000 youth. Their generosity has sponsored STEM and Agriculture Education programs in schools, provided supplies to teachers, offered grants to local beekeepers, provided education at public events, and maintained beehives in community gardens, exemplifying their commitment to local communities,” said Debra Tomaszewski, founder and executive director, Planet Bee Foundation. “We are humbled and inspired by The GIANT Company’s commitment to sustainability, the health of our planet, and the well-being of the families they serve.”

For more information on The GIANT Company’s Healing Our Planet initiative, click here please.

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