This week, Lancaster Watchdog revisits a “junkhole” property in Marietta and checks when a busy intersection closure in East Hempfield Township will reopen.

Last week, Watchdog explained the reason for the hold-up on construction on Prince Street in Lancaster city. The explanation wasn’t very satisfying, but the answer to another question in East Hempfield might be a little more palatable.

For a few months, the intersection of Running Pump Road, Noll Drive and Old Tree Drive has been closed and readers are itching for it’s reopening.

“Why is it taking so LONG!!” wrote in one reader.

You won’t wait much longer — the contractor for the project estimates an opening of most of a new roundabout at the intersection on Oct. 9.

The project was ahead of schedule for most of its construction, according to township manager Cindy Schweitzer, but difficulties with utility providers pushed the opening date back.

The southern leg of the round-about on Running Pump Road to Embassy Drive will remain closed due to an ongoing water project by the city of Lancaster.

The intersection was designed several years ago to accommodate a future traffic signal, but the traffic signal was ditched after the township completed work on Noll Drive.

“The intersection was extremely wide, making crossing it intimidating,” Schweitzer said.

Property owner goes to court

A property full of cars, car parts and even boats has been the subject of scrutiny for more than a decade, but its rodeo with Marietta Borough may be coming to an end.

As Watchdog noted on Aug. 25, Marietta Borough took the owner of 338 E. Market St. to court, asking a district judge to impose heavy fines for blighting the property. The property, called a “junkhole” by a neighbor, is located in a prime part of the borough, just a few blocks from municipal offices.

Property owner Shawn McGrew had until Sept. 30 to clean up the property before appearing in court before Judge Scott Albert that same day.

At one point, McGrew claimed he had cleaned up the property. However, Tom Arnold, the borough zoning officer, said he took images earlier that day to show that the vehicles were not removed from the property, but were instead moved to create the appearance of a cleaned-up property.

In a surprise turn, the judge adjourned the hearing and decided to head over to McGrew’s property and see it for himself, Arnold said.

The three met up at 338 E. Market St. and upon inspection, Albert said he would render a decision. A phone call to Albert by Watchdog was not returned by Friday afternoon. Attempts to reach McGrew were unsuccessful.

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