JOHNSTOWN – City officials are concerned about crumbling city roads, traffic problems and code-enforcement issues at the 20-year-old Johnstown Industrial Park and may ask park businesses for help.
The industrial park, built in 1992 off Route 30A, contains the 700-employee Walmart Regional Distribution Center and Fage USA, among other businesses.
Fage, a yogurt manufacturer at 1 Opportunity Drive, is undergoing a $120 million expansion to increase its 240-person work force by 150 employees.
City Engineer Chandra Cotter said she met with city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer and police Lt. David Gilbo to review deteriorating roads, unsafe parking and code enforcement at the park.
She said wear and tear from trucks on the roads – Route 30A leading into the park and some of the roads inside the park – is getting worse.
She said city police have been taking photos to document safety and parking problems at the industrial park.
“With all the development going on there, it’s only going to increase,” Cotter said.
She said the shoulders aren’t wide enough at the park.
Cotter said the city could look into creating a pull-off lane for trucks to use as a parking area on Opportunity Drive. She also said the city
could reach out to businesses at the park to determine if they can help improve the situation.
“We could look at the rough costs,” Cotter said.
First Ward Councilwoman Cindy Lakata said the city could study how other industrial parks handle truck traffic. At the Johnstown park, trucks have to pull off the roads and wait as they prepare to enter their business lots.
“It seems like putting in another lane would be a lot of money, and another shoulder is going to wear,” Lakata said.
Cotter said the number of trucks coming into the industrial park with full loads, causing more wear and tear, seems to be increasing.
“There’s almost two vehicles a minute coming in and out of there,” she said.
Gilbo said many of the problems with truck traffic there are related to the Walmart Distribution Center, which opened in 2000 at the end of Enterprise Road. Some of the problems also are related to Fage, which has been in operation more recently, he said. There has been a tendency to be lenient on the trucks regarding parking enforcement, but he said there are safety issues.
“The problem is emergency vehicle-wise and plow-wise,” Gilbo said.
Mayor Sarah Slingerland said the city has to figure out ways to accommodate the busy and growing industrial park.
“There’s a lot of activity in the park,” she said.
Gilbo said Walmart is aware of some of the problems and shares some of the city’s concerns.
Slingerland said the city fire, police and public works departments will work with the industrial park businesses on the concerns.
“We’ll see what we can come up with,” Slingerland said.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].