Union Twp. blocks off Krebs Road; officials cite safety concerns, possible illegal activities

Nov. 5—PATTERSONVILLE — A dirt road in Union Twp. used by local people as a shortcut between two highways has been closed due to safety and health concerns.

On Friday, Jeff Brouse, owner of Wilbert Vault Works in Ringtown, along with township Roadmaster David Briggs and township worker Shawn Briggs, unloaded six large concrete barriers that were used to block off both ends of the roughly half-mile Krebs Road.

Township Police Chief Phil Beaver said the dirt road connects Ringtown Boulevard, Route 4033, just west of the scenic overlook, and Pattersonville Road, Route 4037.

Beaver said the decision to close the road was made by township supervisors due to ongoing problems along the stretch, including trash disposal, possible drug use and drinking.

The chief said that during a six-hour shift, he patrols the road one or two times and finds trash and other items discarded by people who have no concern for others.

"There is trash, beer cans, and I also find syringes that lead me to believe there is also drug use," Beaver said.

In addition to illegal activities, he said, people are at risk of entering and exiting the road from Ringtown Boulevard, a heavily traveled road that is often shrouded in fog, or ice and snow during winter.

"There are people going in and coming out. It's not safe," Beaver said.

David Briggs, who is also a Union Twp. supervisor, said he cleaned the entire stretch of Krebs Road two years ago and that since that time, the garbage has piled up again.

"This is a garbage problem, a drug problem and a safety issue," Briggs said.

The concrete blocks provided by Hess Ready Mix Concrete were placed at each entrance of the road, completely blocking off traffic. In addition, Briggs said, signs will be installed alerting drivers to the road being closed.

Since the road is used as a shortcut between Pattersonville Road and Ringtown Boulevard, Briggs said, some motorists likely won't be happy with the closure.

"I'm sure people will complain," he said.

Beaver said the safety of the public was considered, as well as the safety of those who may be illegally dumping or doing drugs.

Briggs agreed.

Although motorists will now have to drive a short distance west on Ringtown Boulevard to reach the intersection with Pattersonville Road, the slight inconvenience is for their safety, Beaver said.

The roadmaster said closing the road was not a decision made lightly.

"We thought about it long and hard, but in the end, safety wins out," he said.