Keystone Corridor – Irishtown Road Relocation

Location: Lancaster County, PA

Owner: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

CCJM provided Survey, Environmental Studies, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction Consultation for the removal of an at-grade railroad crossing along Irishtown Road in East Lampeter and Leacock Townships, Lancaster County.

This project, located in a rural setting with agricultural and residential land uses in the heart of Lancaster County’s prime farm country, was part of an initiative to remove the remaining at-grade railroad crossings along the Amtrak Keystone Corridor in anticipation of a high-speed rail connection between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. CCJM‘s innovative solution involved eliminating the crossing and constructing 1.5 miles of new roadway connecting the existing roadway network on respective sides of the rail line.

Careful coordination among local officials, Amtrak personnel, adjacent land owners and citizen groups, including the Amish Second Mennonite Community, was essential for a successful project. Issues raised during the extensive public coordination were handled during Final Design, resulting in a project that benefited the surrounding community. For example, large earthen berms were constructed between the road and rail line to create a noise buffer for Amish horse and buggies. The project bisected large properties containing prime farmland. CCJM coordinated with adjacent land owners to locate the final alignment to ensure that parcels remained large enough for horse-drawn farming. In addition, prior to the planting season of 2012, the alignment was roughly staked out so the Amish farmers were aware of future boundaries and didn’t waste valuable seed and resources.

CCJM services included field survey, topography for design, construction layout, preparation of plats and legal descriptions identifying fee simple tracts and permanent and temporary easements required for projects; preparation of overall plans of fee simple tracts, permanent easements and temporary easements required for the project; and review of deed maps and tax parcels for project site plans.  Altogether takes were required for 13 properties for this project.