Dollar General would make blight, streets worse

Editor, The News:

The city of New Castle has two major problems, blight and the condition of our city streets. The proposed Dollar General Store on Highland Avenue would exacerbate both of these problems. It would create an area of blight in a stable neighborhood in that it would decrease resale values of surrounding properties, making them virtually unsellable. This outcome would not be immediately apparent as blight would happen gradually.

However, the deterioration of our already crumbling streets would be immediate and ongoing. At least once a week, a delivery truck arrives at the Dollar General store on Wilmington Road in the wee hours of the morning and sits with its motor running for hours, spewing diesel exhaust and noise into a previously quiet night, until one of the store employees comes to begin the unloading process.

As disturbing as this might be, let’s examine the truck itself. The legal weight of an 18 wheeler in most states, Pennsylvania included, is 80,000 pounds or 40 tons. The average school bus weighs 33,000 pounds and the average garbage truck, fully loaded, weighs about 48,000 pounds. Using standard paving practices, the maximum allowable load for an asphalt street is 53,000 pounds and the recommended maximum load is 48,000 pounds or the weight of the garbage truck. The delivery truck weighs almost twice as much as recommended. It must traverse city streets to reach the Highland Avenue store. It cannot use Hazelcroft because it is already posted at a 7 ton limit.

Neither Penn Tech nor Dollar General has any control over these trucks. They are privately contracted.

So we will have an 80-ton monster truck traveling over inadequate city streets and disturbing the quiet and air quality of an existing neighborhood. I this really an improvement for our city?

Robert McIltrot

Highland Avenue

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