Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

   C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

     Contact: Kay Jenkins Rew (610) 279-1645                                September 30, 1996

Environment Enhanced Near Clarks Summit Interchange

        PHILADELPHIA -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and South Abington Township worked cooperatively to transform property adjacent to the Clarks Summit Toll Plaza (Exit # 39) in Lackawanna County into an eye-pleasing environmental haven.
        Pennsylvania Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin said, "The Turnpike has long been committed to a pristine and attractive environment. South Abington Township presented an ecologically sound idea that benefits both the Township and the Turnpike. We are happy to help the Township beautify the site and safeguard nature's delicate balance."
        In November 1993, Carmen J. Rodia, Turnpike landscape unit supervisor, began working with South Abington Township officials to devise a landscape design that would enhance Turnpike property (approximately 1/4 acre) along the entrance ramp at the Clarks Summit Interchange (located at the Northern tip of the Northeast Extension).
        The Township envisioned trees, shrubs and flowers on the site, and voiced a need to enlarge their baseball field by repositioning their fence onto the Turnpike's right-of-way bordering the entrance ramp. Rodia and Turnpike Landscape Designer James H. Kaiser, Jr. created a three-year landscaping plan that enables the Township to expand the project as finances allow, at no cost to the Turnpike.
        Turnpike District Five maintenance crews began site preparation work in May 1996. By the end of June, maintenance workers relocated the ball park fence and along with South Abington volunteers, installed 15 Norway Spruce trees beside the entrance ramp. As part of the agreement with the Turnpike, the Turnpike now maintains the property.
        "The project has been so successful, we are discussing expansion plans that will include property along Routes 6 and 11 near the Clarks Summit Interchange," noted Durbin. "As good neighbors, the Pennsylvania Turnpike continues to look at environmental projects that are advantageous to both the Turnpike and surrounding communities."


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649