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County Exec Candidate Discusses Rt. 378/I-78 Interchange

During a recent interview with the Express-Times editorial board, Northampton County Executive candidate Glenn Reibman talked about revisiting the idea of building an interchange at Route 378 and I-78 in Lower Saucon Township.

Although Lower Saucon Township residents fought a proposal to build an interchange at Route 378 and Interstate 78 nearly three decades ago, Democratic Northampton County Executive candidate Glenn Reibman said in a recent interview with the paper's editorial board that in his opinion it wouldn't hurt to revisit the idea.

In the April 30 interview, Reibman said it was unclear why the interchange wasn't built when the interstate was constructed in the mid-late 1980s, and added that he would support a county-financed feasibility study before approaching the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) about the proposal.

In a November 2009 "Road Warrior" column published by The Morning Call, Dan Hartzell states that the Route 378 interchange was removed from consideration by federal officials early (1979) in the planning stages for the 31-mile "final leg" of I-78, which opened in November 1989.

In 1984, some pro-development township officials attempted to urge highway planners to reconsider building the interchange—over the protests of anti-development residents, and ultimately to no avail, Hartzell wrote in the column.

Reibman is running for the county executive nomination against fellow Democrats Lamont McClure and John Callahan.

The primary election will be held May 21.

What do you think? Would a Route 378 interchange on Interstate 78 be a good idea? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Scott Korin May 06, 2013 at 03:55 PM
I have mixed feelings on this idea. There would be a convenience factor for all of the Lower Saucon residents who wouldn't need to go into Hellertown or Center Valley to get onto I-78. It might help alleviate some of the traffic on 412. Also, the interchange at 309 is on a sharp incline, and traffic gets backed up due to tractor trailers in low gear in the right lane while vehicles are trying to merge onto I-78. Adding another interchange would help with that situation as well. HOWEVER, the rush hour traffic on 378 has gotten worse over the last few years. As it is, getting between Lower Saucon and Bethlehem during rush hour via 378 is quite a painful chore. Something needs to be done to help with traffic on that corridor before adding access to I-78. AND any construction should wait until after the 412 construction is complete.

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