New Falls Rd Sidewalk Project Kicks Off Next Week, 10 Years in the Making
Don’t let anyone ever tell you grass roots local advocacy won’t work.
A pedestrian safety project begins next week on sidewalk installation on one of Buck’s most dangerous roadways, because of a Bristol Township woman’s grief and passion about the need for safe sidewalks on New Falls Road.
Penn DOT announced Friday the projects first stage will launch next week as a lane closure was announced beginning next Monday, on New Falls Road between between Route 413 (Veterans Highway) and Bristol Oxford Valley Road in Middletown and Bristol townships, as part of project to install sidewalks over almost a one mile stretch along the road way.
The announcement is the culmination of years of meetings, phone calls, e-mails, and pleadings by Levittown’s Sharon Rearick’s,family and supporters.
Rearick’s 10-year advocacy odyssey with the help and support of bi-partisan contingent of local and state officials namely State Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R), with State Representatives Frank Farry (R) and Tina Davis (D)- helped with getting the project off the drawing board and onto the roadway, Penn DOT officials told Lower Bucks Source in April.
The local news coverage and advocacy helped bring the project to fruition said Senior Manager for Penn DOT, Ashwin Patel.
“Yes this took quite some time… “, he said, and “was years in the making.”
Rearick founded the grass roots effort, Sidewalks Are For Everyone (now defunct) which advocated for work to be, such as sidewalks to be constructed, along New Falls Rd since a tragic accident that took her son “JJ”‘s life a little more than a decade ago.
Under this project, PennDOT’s contractor will construct sidewalks alongside a section of New Falls Road. In addition, the safety improvement plan includes the installation of crosswalk pavement markings to delineate pedestrian routes along the corridor; installation of pedestrian signal equipment in conjunction with the addition of ADA curb ramps to further improve pedestrian safety; and the addition of protected left-turn traffic signals to improve motorist safety, a release said Friday.
Rearick had one word Friday when word of the pedestrian safety project launching reached her;
“While the contractor may perform some work this fall, major construction to excavate and build the new sidewalks is planned to start in spring 2023. In addition, the contractor has 90 ADA curb ramps to design and then build in 2023, plus make traffic signal improvements at one intersection” Penn DOT officials said earlier this year.
Marino Corporation of Skippack, Montgomery County, is the general contractor on the $1.4 million project, which is financed with 100 percent federal funds. Work on the project is expected to finish in spring 2024.
Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because backups and delays may occur.