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Human Interest - Bristol Borough

PennDOT: Rescheduled – Rockhill Drive New Traffic Pattern Thursday

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***Update*** This has been rescheduled until Next Thursday by PennDOT. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Thursday that a new traffic pattern will be established on Rockhill Drive next week under a $116 million project to reconstruct, widen, and improve a three-mile section of U.S. 1 in Bensalem and Middletown townships, in Lower Bucks County. 

Motorists are advised of the following travel restriction:

Thursday, April 18, from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. a single lane pattern with 15-minute traffic stoppages are planned in both directions on Rockhill Drive between Horizon Boulevard and Mall Boulevard.

The lane closures and stoppages are for setting up a new traffic pattern for continued construction on Rockhill Drive. 

Drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because backups and delays may occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent and subject to change. 

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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.”

Credit: Submitted

“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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Education - Bristol Borough

Bristol Borough School District Hires from Within to Fill Principal, Asst Principal Positions at Elementary School

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The Bristol Borough School District announced the hiring of new leadership beginning July 1 at Snyder-Girotti Elementary School.

Schoolboard President Dave Chichilitti said Wednesday he’s really excited about the appointments of Ms. Julie Balcer, as the new principal and Ms. Danielle Leyrer, as the elementary assistant principal at Snyder-Girotti.

Former principal Kelli Rosado tendered her resignation in March, officials said, however no explanation for her leaving in the middle of the academic year was provided.

Balcer began her educational journey in 2009 at Snyder-Girotti Elementary School. Over the past 15 years, she has made significant contributions as a 6th-grade teacher, a 5th-grade special education teacher, and later as a kindergarten teacher. In the past year, she has served as Dean of Students and Acting Principal of Snyder-Girotti, demonstrating her leadership skills and dedication to the school community, officials said.

Leyrer is a dedicated educator who is committed to empowering students and educators by fostering a supporting and enriching learning environment. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Millersville University. She completed her master’s degree and Principal Certification at Pennsylvania Western University – California, says a district release.

The duo were approved for the new “official” roles unanimously by the board last week.

Balcer is scheduled to make $125,000.00 per year and Leyrer has an 11- month contract coming in at just over $104,000.00.

Both Chichilitti and Truelove said they could not answer any questions with regards to any personal or social media related comments on personnel matters of any kind.

“As for social media posts not authorized by the District, we can’t comment on those matters…” in regard to recent allegations made and reported on by Lower Bucks Source last week which were commented on by a self-reported school district employee.

If any parent is having some kind of issue or concern, Chichilitti said, please reach out to us. We’re here for the students of school district and their parents and or guardians. We encourage everyone to contact us with questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Randall Ave Bridge Restoration Project to Begin Next Week

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The long awaited and much anticipated work to the Randall Avenue Bridge in Bristol Township will begin in earnest next week, township manager Randee J. Mazur said Thursday.

We have an executed agreement with Haines and Kibblehouse based in Chalfont H & K) in the amount of  $1,085,260.00. The project was originally planned to start June 21st and was pushed back a week by Amtrak to now begin Friday, June 28th,” she said.

Mobilization for the work began earlier today, with  setting up the construction laydown areas. They plan to use a portion of Pitt Avenue that is closed and will set up temporary chain link fence with a lock to secure all materials and equipment, officials said.

The Project Schedule is as follows:

6/28/24 to 7/1/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 3 with nighttime outage on Track 2

7/12/24 to 7/15/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 2 with nighttime outage on Track 3

7/26/24 to 7/29/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 1 with nighttime outage on Track 2

The bridge work, with no delays to the schedule, should be completed by the end of July, Mazur said.

Randal Ave Bridge Closed
Credit: Lower Bucks Source

“Gilmore and Associates is finalizing the abutment project bid and details, should be completed early July and then we will solicit bids for this work.”

If the abutments are ready for work, then with contract awarded, this work could start as early as July or August and is estimated to take three months. The abutments are what is required for the 3.5-ton limit and there is discussion with the work being done that it may be able to be increased once completed. The township manager said, our police department was advised we will need truck enforcement for the bridge to enforce whatever weight limit there is while we continue to work on design and funding for a full bridge replacement.

The 169-foot span bridge in the Edgely section of the township has been closed since February of 2023 after chunks of the bridge fell onto the ground and onto the Amtrak and SEPTA rail lines below. For the 16 months township officials have worked feverishly reviewing solutions, applying for grants, speaking, and meeting with  civil construction companies and leveraging county, state, and federal officials seeking help and support.

A community meeting held by the township in January involving officials from state, federal, and Amtrak offices seems to have put the project in motion. For almost a year there was little to no movement on what exactly should be done, due in part to Amtrak’s specific guidelines and requirements, one official, who asked not be identified said.

The project has gone back to using hi rail equipment for some of the work. H&K has their hi rail inspection scheduled for June 26th. H&K is planning to mobilize today and start setting up the construction laydown areas today and tomorrow (6/20 & 6/21). They plan to use a portion of Pitt Avenue that is closed and will set up a temporary chain link fence with a lock to secure all materials/equipment, Mazur said.

 

 

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