Bridge work won’t affect the Convoy

By on April 24, 2013

By: ANDY FASNACHT Review Editor afasnacht.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Those concerned that a local bridge project may impact an annual Mother’s Day tradition can rest easily.

Officials from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, hosts of the annual Mother’s Day convoy which goes through town, confirmed Tuesday that plans are in place to ensure that the parade of trucks will be able to travel Route 272 without interruption. This despite the one-lane of traffic on the highway at Steinmetz Road on the south end of the borough limits, caused by the bridge work being done there.

"Our plan is to keep the convoy on the historical route through Ephrata," said M. Paulette Battenfelder, regional executive director Make-A-Wish Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley. "We will re-route southbound traffic on Rt. 272 at Rothsville Road to Newport Road, Rt. 772, and back on to southbound 272. This is the plan for 1.5 hours during the convoy. We will have traffic control at these intersections for this time frame, as well."

Trucks depart Burle Business Park on New Holland Avenue in Lancaster at 1:30 p.m. on Mother’s Day, May 12. They go west on Route 30 to 222, the Brownstown exit, Rt. 772 to Rt. 272 north through Akron to Ephrata, then to State Street, to Rt. 322, then 222, returning to Burle Business Park.

Ephrata Borough Council’s Highway Committee reviewed that request back in February to hold the event and approved it on March 11. However this was prior to receiving information on restrictions related to the PennDOT bridge project, according to David S. Burkholder, borough engineering project manager. The borough has since worked with Battenfelder to devise the plan now in place.

Battenfelder was asked about the importance of this event to the organization.

"The Susquehanna Valley office grants approximately 90 wishes a year," she said. "Last year, the annual Mother’s Day Convoy generated the funding for 30 of those wishes. It is a very important source of income that supports our mission of granting wishes to children with life threatening conditions to enhance the human experience with hope, strength and joy."

The passion for the event felt by residents was clearly shown by the concern expressed to her office.

"This small detour brought an outpouring of concern from the people of Ephrata," Battenfelder said. "We received numerous calls and e-mails from local residents informing us of this situation that threatened the convoy route. We are pleased to bring this event to Lancaster County for the past 24 years and happy to partner with Lancaster residents to support the wishes of children."

The event at Burle begins at 8:30 a.m. and features a full day of fun including games, clowns, food, live bands, auction, and lots of trucks.

Visit makeawishtruckconvoy.org for more information.

To be a participant (truck driver or wish alumni passenger), a volunteer or a sponsor call the regional Lancaster Office at 283-4880. More CONVOY, page A15

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