(Updated 2:40 p.m. to include information from New Hope Borough)
Construction continued to move apace at the Scannapieco Development Corporation’s planned residential development north of Route 202 in New Hope near the lower field at Pat Livezey Park, with blasting of rock to begin in as soon as six days, officials in Solebury, New Hope, and at the contractor involved confirmed today.
The Preserve, alternately dubbed the “Rabbit Run Townhome Project,” will consist of “37 luxury townhomes,” and blasting could begin as early as next Tuesday, and “continue through the fall.”
Does that mean indefinitely?
Matt Ryan, president of the company doing the drilling and blasting, Rock Work, Inc., of Blue Bell, said that blasting is not uncommon for residential projects in Pennsylvania, and that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit for the work.
“The blasting will not be continuous,” Ryan said. “It could be on and off, into the fall.”
While permitted to blast for up to a year, Ryan said, “In a perfect world, and if we were able to work straight through, we could do it in two to three weeks.” Unpredictable logistics, weather, and other project delays add extra time, according to Ryan, whose family has owned the same business for several generations.
Asked if the size of explosions would reach that routinely experienced from the nearby New Hope Crushed Stone & Lime quarry, Ryan said, “No.”
While the Rabbit Run project is entirely within New Hope boundaries, it directly borders on Solebury Township, and it is the homes there that are most likely to be affected by blasting, particularly along Sunset Drive. Ryan said that Rock Work has mailed notifications to property owners adjacent to the project.
New Hope officials confirmed Monday that notices had been sent to residents of Sunset, Hagan and Bogle drives, along with a home on Chapel Road.
Solebury and New Hope officials pointed out that Rock Work has “retained an engineering firm to ensure that homes close to the work site will not be affected by the blasting. They will also use seismic monitoring to keep vibrations well within regulatory safety limits.”
“Home owners within 450 feet of the project will be encouraged to contact the engineering firm for a no-cost inspection of their property before the excavation begins,” the notification letter went on to say. “The blasting is necessary to facilitate rock removal for utility trenches and residential basements.”