In December 2017, construction began on improvements to a vital corridor within the Borough’s jurisdiction. Rhodes Drive, a one- way municipal roadway that houses several stormwater inlets that are tributary to the Falling Spring Branch, a waterway flowing into the Conococheague Creek, and is located between Second Street and North Main Street in the Borough.
Rhodes Drive is centrally located within the Borough, adjacent to the Coyle Free Library, residential units at the Towers at Falling Spring, and the King Street Church Parking lot. Although Rhodes Drive is a one-way street, it plays a significant role in providing emergency access for the Chambersburg Emergency Services Department. Located at 130 North Second Street, the Chambersburg Emergency Services Department utilizes a direct route (via Rhodes Drive) to respond to any emergencies that occur on the south side of the Borough. Therefore, it is crucial that the Rhodes Drive corridor remains safe and accessible. Rhodes Drive is also an important community asset; when it is not being used as an emergency route, it serves as a staging area for several charity run/walk events, Borough parades, and battlefield reenactments.
Stormwater Best Management Practices (“BMP”)
The Rhodes Drive Reconstruction and Stormwater BMP Implementation project included improvements to reduce the rate and volume of stormwater runoff that discharges into the Falling Spring Branch of the Conococheague Creek by disconnecting the impervious surface of the street from the existing storm sewer and re-directing runoff to a bio-retention area adjacent to Rhodes Drive. This allows for stormwater infiltration and also provides water quality benefits.
The planned improvements also addressed the deteriorating surface of Rhodes Drive, a confirmed low volume road and a principal route for the Chambersburg Emergency Services Department. Moreover, with the destructive heaving observed prior to construction, it was necessary that the Borough take appropriate steps to reconstruct the road in order to eliminate any concerns associated with traveling along this corridor.
The Borough is hoping to set a positive trend and important precedent with the Rhodes Drive infrastructure improvements, as the project was the first MS4 Department storm sewer project to incorporate “green” BMPs.
Financial assistance for the Rhodes Drive Reconstruction and Stormwater BMP Implementation project has been provided (in part) by the following agencies and programs:
- Chesapeake Bay Trust, Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Program – EPA Region 3 and the Chesapeake Bay Trust serving as funding partners. Chesapeake Bay Trust
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PA Department of Community & Economic Development, Commonwealth Financing Authority, Multimodal Transportation Fund
- Franklin County Conservation District, Dirt, Gravel, Low Volume Road Program