The road crew’s main mission is to maintain the Township’s roads as necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the traveling public and Greenwich Township residents.
In the past, the Township’s roads required little maintenance and the snowplowing was done largely by the farmers that lived on them. As development in the Township increased, so did the demand for better roads. The Township’s road crew has grown from a small pickup with a plow to a crew of three full-time and three part-time employees with a fleet of modern up-to-date road equipment.
The road crew maintains 82 miles of road - 53 miles are paved and 27 are dirt/gravel. An additional 38 miles of State roads are plowed by the Township in the wintertime.
Repairs and replacement of road signs, guide rails, pipes and culverts, patching and road restoration are every day road crew tasks. Seasonal tasks, such as vegetation removal, mowing, and ice and snow removal add to the road crew’s maintenance demands. On any given day, accidents, weather conditions, and unforeseen problems may change the direction of the road crew’s daily tasks and/or bring them out after hours in response to emergencies related to the safety of the traveling public.
Seasonally, the road crew changes their efforts. The winter months bring a need to be prepared for ice and snow removal. Late winter and early spring brings a demand to seal road surface cracks, repair potholes and to complete vegetation pruning. The summer season is the time when road resurfacing projects are completed.
The road crew is responsible for all maintenance and repairs on Township roads. The Township is not responsible for fixing potholes on State roadways. The Township is not responsible for private roadways in new developments until such time as they are dedicated to the Township.
Each year the road crew resurfaces various roadways within the Township. The funding for this work comes largely from the annual State Liquid Fuels Fund. Roads are selected based on various criteria and needs, including surface conditions, traffic volume and funding sources.
The Township participates in an Intergovernmental Agreement with Maxatawny and Albany Townships to share municipal employee manpower and equipment relative to the construction, repair and maintenance of the roadways. The Township also participates in the Berks County Cooperative Purchasing Council. This results in great savings to the taxpayers.
Major patching: Due to base deterioration, large portions of the roadway are cutout or milled out and replaced with new asphalt base. Generally, these are areas deteriorated by frost conditions and are known as "blowouts". At a later time this area is sealed with oil and chip or resurfaced with a wearing course.
Overlays: Used where base is in good condition, but surface-wearing course is deteriorated. Leveling courses may be applied and drainage problems corrected whereupon a wearing course of blacktop is applied. The Township does its own paving with a paver purchased in partnership with Maxatawny Township. This assures residents of a job done under optimal weather conditions and at the least cost.
Crack Sealing: Cracks are sealed with asphalt sealant, generally preparatory to some type of a wearing surface treatment.
Oil and Chip: This treatment is used on various Township roads. The process consists of an application of oil and chip over the entire surface in order to provide a sealed surface and thus reduce the amount of water penetration into the roadway base. It allows for sealing of minor but numerous surface cracks and protects and prolongs the integrity of the existing roadway, saving the taxpayers money.
Dirt/Gravel roads: The Township continues to maintain 27 miles of Dirt/Gravel roads. Dirt and/or Gravel roads require different maintenance procedures than paved roads but are widely recognized and supported by County and State agencies as a viable roadway choice for rural townships. Dirt/Gravel is less costly to maintain and preserves the rural atmosphere of the Township. These roads are often graded and treated with a dust-oil product in the summertime.
Traffic Markings & Signs: The road crew is responsible for the installation and application of all municipal street signs and traffic markings. The signs and markings are installed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Rules and Regulations.
Vegetation Control: The road crew annually prunes and trims overgrown vegetation along its right-of-ways in order to maintain sight distances at corners, clear corridors on straight-aways, and to allow sunlight to penetrate to the roadway to affect a dry road surface. A side benefit of this vegetation control program is a need for less salt in wintertime as shaded road surfaces are eliminated.