The long-awaited reopening of Butler Pike will take place on Friday 12/18/2020. The team was busy putting the finishing touches when we visited the site on Wednesday before the storm. Improvements include the rerouting and stabilizing of utility lines as well as improvements to stormwater runoff.
During the September 2020 Plymouth Township Planning Agency Meeting on 09/02/2020 plans were presented to bring a "Logistics Company" with 180 vans who will be in operation 365 days a year to the long-vacant former 7-Up bottling location located at 1103 Ridge Pike. This location has been under development for some time by Malvern based, EKAHN Development.
The presentation was very thorough and covered a master plan for multiple sites which will be combined into a 24-acre campus for Amazon. In short, the old 7-Up bottling facility will be leased to Amazon for warehouse and office space, the current BIMBO bakery location will be demolished to make room for ample parking for Amazon. A new 110,000 sq.ft. cross-dock facility will be constructed on-site for BIMBO. Site work is already underway for the new Bimbo facility and it should open within a year. Finally, the former Shipley Energy location on Industrial Way will also be demolished to allow for vehicular access to Industrial Way.
Here are some items to highlight.
All vehicular traffic will access the site via Alan Wood Road (Academy Road).
The Ridge Pike Improvement Project will eliminate the jug handle at Ridge and Alan Wood Road as well as add a traffic light at Industrial Way and Ridge Pike @John Kennedy Ford (Proposed not final)
A sidewalk will be installed in front of the property in coordination with the Ridge Pike Improvement Project.
Major improvements will be made regarding stormwater management as there was little to no stormwater management regulated when these buildings were built in the 1950s.
Traffic was a top concern of the Zoning Board, and rightfully so. It was highlighted the 180+ Amazon Vans will come and go on off-peak hours, leaving the site between 10-11a and will return between 7-8p. Now, later in the presentation, they talked about a 2-hour window of leaving and another 2-hour window of coming back to the site (4-hours total). Either way, that is a lot of traffic in such a short time.
Before everyone gets all worked up, consider this - the Amazon trucks are already on our roads, they are here every day and sometimes I will see 3 of them at the same time in my development alone. They will now be launching from a closer location in our township and therefore will cut down on pollution, although most of their vans are already environmentally friendly.
Here are some older pictures of the site from Montgomery County Public Records and the conceptual drawings of 1103 Ridge from EKAHN.
There is a similar facility in King of Prussia, I do not know if this will be in addition or will replace that facility.
The first step in this process was to approve the request to merge the multiple parcels together into one 24 acre property which won overwhelming approval to proceed to the Zoning Board. The next step is to seek variances from the following Township Codes.
So, what do you think of the proposal? Are you excited to see an old warehouse get a new lease on life? Are you apprehensive about the amount of concentrated traffic this will bring to the Alan Wood Road area? Share your feedback in our community conversation below.
You can watch the entire proposal here.
You can join our conversation here.
Whitpain Township Police will be just one of many local departments participating in Operation Safe Driver Week which takes place July 12-18, 2020. This targeted program is founded by the Commercial Safe Driver Association (CVSA) and according to their website,
"the program aimed at reducing deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and cars due to unsafe driver behaviors. The Alliance intends to accomplish this goal by educating all drivers about ways to share the roads safely.
The Operation Safe Driver program has two main campaigns to educate drivers.
Teens and Trucks – Our Teens and Trucks program aims to educate youth drivers about how to drive safely around a large truck or bus.
Defeat Distracted Driving – Defeat Distracted Driving is our campaign aimed at educating commercial vehicle drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and ways to avoid becoming distracted while on our roadways.
In addition, there is an annual one-week enforcement and educational blitz, Operation Safe Driver Week, that spotlights unsafe driving behaviors by both commercial motor vehicle drivers and car drivers in an effort to combat the number of deaths and injuries from crashes.
Operation Safe Driver holds activities across the United States, Canada and Mexico to increase commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, and driver roadside inspections; improve driver regulatory compliance; implement commercial driver educational and awareness programs to the motor carrier population; educate youth about safely sharing the roads with large trucks and buses; and increase awareness to the general motoring public about safe operations around commercial motor vehicles.
CVSA – in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), state, provincial and local law enforcement, and industry – launched the Operation Safe Driver campaign in 2007 to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and cars."
Learn more about CVSA on their website here.
Whitpain will be focusing on speeding during the week.