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Nesquehoning cutting pipes to fix runoff problem near rail line

Published December 27. 2018 12:28PM

Water runoff in a portion of Nesquehoning is causing problems for Reading and Northern Railroad, officials said.

Last week, Matt Johnson, vice president of asset management and community affairs and lieutenant for the Reading and Northern Railroad police, approached Nesquehoning Borough Council to ask for help resolving a problem with water runoff along the rail line in a portion of the Hauto Valley Estates.

He said that in 2019, the railroad would be replacing between 3,000 and 7,000 railroad ties along the line, but a number of water pipes that funnel water runoff from some of the avenues in the estates spill out along the creek bed near the line, causing substantial erosion.

The pipes in question are located between the Route 54 and Industrial intersection, down Industrial Road to the Park Avenue intersection.

“We want to work with the borough to fix this issue,” Johnson said, asking that the borough cut back the pipe so the water is farther away from the tracks.

Councilman Frank Jacobs said that the borough could do that, but added that one stipulation to this should be that Nesquehoning shouldn’t have to pay for a railroad inspector to be there as the pipe-cutting work is taking place.

Johnson said he agreed with the stipulation.

Council President David Hawk said the borough will contact Johnson to schedule a few days when it is nice out for the borough crew to cut the pipes so the trains are aware of the work.

While Johnson was there, council also asked about a crossing that the railroad removed a few years ago that was the fire companies’ access point to the pond in the estates.

“We’re asking that the crossing be put back,” John McArdle, Nesquehoning Hose Company fire chief, said.

Johnson asked that pictures of the area and other details be submitted to him so he could bring it to the company’s next meeting for consideration.

“We’re not looking for anything elaborate,” McArdle said, noting that the previous one was just a gated stone crossing across the tracks that allowed a firetruck to get to the pond and run a 5-inch hose safely across the railroad tracks.

The borough used to utilize the crossing to help with fire protection in the Hauto Valley Estates, and McArdle said without it, there is a delay in response.

He added that in the next few months, the borough is also planning to take its town water tank offline for repairs, which means that without a crossing, fire crews would rely on water tankers, which could add a half-hour to 45 minutes to fire responses in that area of the borough.

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