Millcreek Township supervisors have ended a dispute with PennDOT, allowing an important safety project on Peach Street to finally proceed.

The project involves installing a sidewalk between Kuntz Road and the Wendy's Restaurant on the east side of Peach. Two pedestrians have been killed while walking along the berm of the road, one in 2013 and one in 2015. Millcreek was successful in placing the project on top of PennDOT's priority list, and funding was secured. However, two years ago, PennDOT adopted a policy mandating that local municipalities assume responsibility for maintenance and liability for sidewalks, even though the sidewalks are designed and constructed by PennDOT.  Millcreek objected and the Peach Street project was stalled.

Now, with the cooperation of PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards, a new policy has been adopted with the state and municipalities now sharing the responsibilities.

"Essentially, what happens is you get lawyers and bureaucrats involved.  Their job is to look out for the state and put up some red tape,  We're very fortunate that Secretary Richards was able to cut that red tape and work with us," said Millcreek Supervisor John Morgan.

Millcreek Township is being credited for taking the lead in getting PennDOT's policy changed for all sidewalk projects statewide.

Because of the dispute, design work didn't even get started yet for the sidewalk on Peach Street. Therefore, construction for the safety project will not get started until the Summer of 2019.