Normandy Civic discusses new road

The city plans to build a long drive­way from Comly Road to the back of its new po­lice academy on Wood­haven Road.

At the Oct. 19 Nor­mandy Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing at the Nor­com Com­munity Cen­ter, nearby res­id­ents learned that the drive will run par­al­lel with Joseph Kelly Ter­race, a private street that is the neigh­bor­hood’s east­ern bound­ary.

That is not what some ex­pec­ted, however. They also told city rep­res­ent­at­ives that turn­ing from their street onto Comly is dif­fi­cult enough without the ad­di­tion of more traffic.

Some neigh­bors said they had been led to be­lieve that ac­cess to what had been the Phil­adelphia Me­mori­al Armed Forces Re­serve Cen­ter at 2838-98 Wood­haven Road would come from Thornton Road, not Comly.

Thomas Elsas­s­er, le­gis­lat­ive as­sist­ant in the city Man­aging Dir­ect­or’s Of­fice, and pro­ject co­ordin­at­or Fran­cis Matejik told them on Oct. 19, however, that the north­ern part of the now wooded land that stretches from Comly to Wood­haven between Thornton and Joseph Kelly gets too much wa­ter from sur­round­ing streets and a ball field at Thornton and Comly. There­fore, they said, build­ing a road there is not feas­ible.

Elsas­s­er said there is time to con­sider a sug­ges­tion to add a traffic light on Comly at the turn for the new ac­cess drive.

“This isn’t go­ing to hap­pen to­mor­row,” Elsas­s­er said.

The is­sue will be dis­cussed at the civic as­so­ci­ation’s next meet­ing, Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Nor­com Com­munity Cen­ter, 10980 Nor­com Road.

When renov­a­tions are com­plete in early 2013, the old re­serve cen­ter will be the Po­lice De­part­ment’s train­ing bur­eau cam­pus. Vet­er­an of­ficers will get ad­vanced train­ing there, and re­cruits and dis­patch­ers will be trained there, too. The fir­ing range will re­main on the Po­lice Academy prop­erty on State Road.

City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.) said mov­ing po­lice train­ing in­to the prop­erty is its best use.

The city is get­ting the 9-acre prop­erty from the U.S.  De­part­ment of De­fense at no cost through the fed­er­al Base Re­align­ment and Clos­ure Pro­gram. The city has been work­ing on ac­quir­ing the prop­erty since 2006, he said.

The city will ren­ov­ate the 80,000-square-foot build­ing and 9,000-square-foot gar­age to suit its needs. ••

Re­port­er John Loftus can be reached at 215-354-3110 or

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