Despite not having the required PennDOT permits, the Upper Moreland Commissioners granted permission for construction to begin at the future Wawa site on York Road in Willow Grove.
The board voted on Monday to allow developer Bruce Goodman to begin grading at 151 York Road, to obtain the required township permits without a highway occupancy permit from PennDOT and to proceed with construction at the developer’s own risk.
Commissioners Chairman Sam Valenza said Goodman is still waiting to finalize an agreement with SEPTA regarding the walkway to the adjacent train station. That and the PennDOT permit are anticipated by the end of September or October, he said.
But, in the meantime, Goodman “wanted to get concrete work done before it got cold,” according to Valenza, who said that with the Bally’s building demolished, construction crews are working to grind up some of the macadam.
Wawa backers first raised the issue of grading at last month’s commissioners meeting. The board moved the matter to the August committee meeting for discussion prior to acting at this week’s regular meeting.
The issue, officials have said, involves liability.
“We just want to make sure we were secure so if something happens they can fix it,” Valenza said, adding that with new agreements and escrow monies in place, "the township is completely secure."
Wawa Spokeswoman Colleen Labik said previously that the new 5,500-square-foot store and 12 fueling stations is expected to open in “early 2014.”