In 2019, Canal Township in Venango County began the first of three phases to improve stormwater and non-point source pollution problems on McCune Road. Check out the story slide show.
Venango Conservation District Staff have been in the process of making an assessment of dirt and gravel roads in Venango County. We’ve been visiting roads all across the county in an effort to update the inventory of identified project sites for the Venango Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Roads program. The program is not intending to assess low volume roads at this time.
The program uses the identified project site assessment information to formulate how much funding districts across the state will be receiving from the State Conservation Commission on an annual basis. This annual funding provides resources for districts to administrate the program in each county and to pay for program project construction.
By the end of April 2020, district staff has visited most all of the municipalities in Venango County. We’ve put off the more urban municipalities and have been focusing on areas with a higher concentration of dirt and gravel roads, but we will be visiting every municipality as soon as possible. We’re assessing these roads in their current condition and then making adjustments to the inventory mapping system of potential project sites.
The Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads studies released some trainings on how to make these assessments successfully and our hope is to be able to add new potential sites or to lengthen currently identified sites on the mapping system. Staff has also attended in-field trainings on effective road assessment techniques.
This has been a very rewarding and worthwhile process. The state of roadways in the county is always changing, and we’re doing our best to keep up with the assessment of potential Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Road Program sites.
Since March, Pennsylvania has been under a stay at home order. For this reason, Venango Conservation District staff have been working from home. We’ve also had direction that project site visits are off the table for staff for the duration of the order. We’ve been advised by the State Conservation Commission that while program staff are ordered to stay at home, that construction work for Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Roads projects should be put on hold.
The Venango Conservation District is committed to well-constructed projects as well as keeping our staff and others safe and healthy at Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Roads program projects. The Governor recently lifted restrictions for construction in Pennsylvania effective May 1st. The Venango Conservation District, however, will keep the stay at home status for a longer period of time. We hope to be able to open our site visit restrictions as soon as possible and we’ll contact all project managers immediately when that happens.
Meanwhile, we wanted to get some guidance information out there to help project managers to get their Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Roads program projects ready for action. Click here for guidance for construction from the Governor’s office. It lists several considerations for keeping those on site safe and healthy.
The district is very much looking forward to getting back to work at construction sites. We hope that will be soon, but in the meantime, we’re working from home. We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message on our answering machine at 814-676-2832 and someone will return your call.