Work has started at the site of the 412,000 square foot Walmart distribution center, just off Route 72 in the village of Heilmandale, North Lebanon Township. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Construction of the building itself hasn’t begun, but an armada of heavy equipment has been moving dirt and building a massive berm along Heilmandale Road for the last few weeks.

The berm was a concession by Walmart to neighbors across the road who raised concerns that their view would be ruined by the enormous box-like structure.

Earth moving equipment used to clear site of new Walmart distribution center (LebTown)

The site lies east of the small North Lebanon Township village of Heilmandale. Even though homes have bordered it for decades, the property, according to North Lebanon Township Manager Cheri Grumbine, has been zoned “Industrial” since at least the mid-1970s.

Until now, Heilmandale’s only large commercial neighbors had been the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority’s landfill and Reazer’s Disposal, a trash removal and recycling business.

Grumbine and PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler say that a traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Route 72 and Heilmandale Road to handle the increased traffic volume from the project. Schreffler said on Apr. 13 that the design of the light was complete and awaiting final approval.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...