Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Christine Widgren of Hellertown has written a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett about the traffic situation along Route 412 at the borough's north end, which she says constitutes 'a severe crisis of public safety.'
Note: The following letter is addressed to Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett. A copy of the letter was shared by its author with Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch. Governor Corbett: I am requesting that your office investigate the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's actions as they relate to the project of widening of Route 412 in Hellertown/Bethlehem. I have never in my life seen such a traffic debacle that was done on purpose. Bad weather, serious accidents—I can understand. But this is beyond belief. I refuse to question the "planning" because whatever was done has nothing to do with the definition of "planning." We are in a severe crisis of public safety. We have been invaded and occupied by barricades and heavy equipment. It …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Tina McCardle of Hellertown says the current traffic situation at the borough's north end is dangerous and unacceptable.
To the editor: The traffic on 412 on Saturday afternoon after the dump truck accident was a nightmare! Traffic was backed up south on Main Street all the way to Water Street! The ramps coming off of I-78 were a parking lot and traffic was backing up on the highway as a result! The sirens from the emergency vehicles were blasting their horns for about 15 minutes trying to get to or from the accident scene to no avail, as all the roads were clogged with traffic and no place to move out of the way! This cannot continue for the next year! PennDOT needs to rethink their plans and perhaps think about doing night work 24/7 and complete the worst of the construction ASAP. Tina McCardle Hellertown
Monday, May 13, 2013
Many Hellertown Patch readers say police or flagger forces are needed to help direct traffic on Route 412 near the I-78 interchange in Hellertown during the latest phase of a construction project.
In response to a question posted Monday on Hellertown Patch's Facebook page, readers are voicing their opinions about overwhelmed intersections at the north end of Main Street, near the Route 412 interchange on I-78. Specifically, readers are saying there needs to be police officers or flagger forces deployed to help prevent traffic from blocking the intersections during rush hour. Although traffic lights on Main Street were retimed Friday to help reduce congestion related to the latest phase of PennDOT's three-year Route 412 widening project in Hellertown and Bethlehem, readers are reporting that problems are still prevalant in the area where access to several side streets is currently limited. Below is a sampling of quotes from readers …
Friday, May 10, 2013
The traffic light adjustments were made to help alleviate construction-related congestion and followed a Friday afternoon meeting between borough officials, business owners, State Rep. Bob Freeman and PennDOT representatives.
A Friday afternoon meeting between PennDOT representatives and borough officials, business owners and State Rep. Bob Freeman (D-136) was "very productive," said borough councilman Tom Rieger, who attended the meeting. The meeting was called after local officials, residents and business owners expressed concern about barricades erected at the intersection of several side streets and Main Street, near the I-78 interchange at Hellertown's northern end. The barricades were meant to help prevent Route 412 traffic from detouring onto residential side streets during a new phase of construction related to an ongoing, three-year, $36 million improvement project for the state highway. However, some residents have complained about the inconvenience …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Barricades and detours related to a new phase of the three-year Route 412 widening project are making life difficult for residents, business owners and commuters in Hellertown and Bethlehem, particularly at rush hour.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
With barricades going up on side streets at Main Street's north end in Hellertown, business owners, residents and officials are worried about the potential for long-term, major inconvenience.
Note: This story has been updated with additional information (Tuesday, May 7, 5 p.m.) Frustration over PennDOT's plan to barricade several side streets at the north end of Hellertown's Main Street was expressed at Monday's Borough Council meeting. The plan to barricade Hess, Roth, Kichline and Kiernan avenues at Main Street was announced as part of PennDOT's ongoing, $36 million Route 412 renewal project as early as March of last year. However, now that the barricades are about to go up, five business owners who will be affected by the restrictions on turning traffic are worried, council members said. Those five businesses—Top Star Exxon, Superior Auto, 412 Auto Tags, Vassi's Drive-In and the Chevy 21 used car center—are located on the …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Ran a red light? $100, please: PA proposal would add traffic fines for road repairs.
Saturday, April 20
By Melissa Daniels/Pa Independent HARRISBURG — The latest proposal to fund repairs to Pennsylvania’s aging roads and bridges could mean steeper costs for all drivers, especially those with a lead foot. Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, unveiled his proposal for $2.5 billion worth of transportation funding Tuesday. The plan uncaps the oil-franchise tax, which is paid on the wholesale price of gasoline, to raise about $1.6 billion, and brings in millions more by increasing Pennsylvania Department of Transportation fees and a new surcharge on top of traffic tickets. “If we want to be competitive and we want to move the state forward, we have to do something in the way of transportation funding…
Friday, April 19, 2013
PennDOT has announced that road work will reduce a busy two-lane section of Route 412 to a single lane through March 30, 2014. The work is part of an ongoing widening project.
If you thought navigating traffic near the Route 412 exit on I-78 was already challenging, you may want to brace yourself for a reassessment. PennDOT—which is coordinating an ongoing three-year, $36 million Route 412 widening project—announced Tuesday that "traffic will be reduced from two lanes to a single lane on (Route) 412 north and south for roadway widening work" through March 30, 2014. PennDOT Engineering District 5-0 spokesman Sean Brown confirmed that it's a section of the road that's two lanes in one direction that will temporarily be reduced to one lane. The section that will be affected is between Wagner Avenue in Hellertown and Daly Avenue in Bethlehem, PennDOT said. The restrictions associated with this phase of the project …
Group of GOP lawmakers call for abolishing PA Turnpike citing scandal, redundancy.
Friday, April 19
By Melissa Daniels/Pa Independent HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania has two transportation agencies. One controls more than 40,000 miles of state roads and 25,000 bridges, and another maintains 545 miles of tolled highway. The former has seven executives, one for every 5,857 miles of roadway; the latter nine executives, one for every 60 miles of roadway. For a group of Republican lawmakers, this doesn’t add up, especially when one of those agencies was the subject of a 44-month long grand jury investigation over alleged bid-rigging. Standing alongside a dozen other GOP lawmakers, Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion, introduced legislation Wednesday to abolish the “corruption-infested” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and fold the route’s operation …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
PennDOT has reopened the Freemansburg Avenue bridge after emergency repair work.
PennDOT says the Freemansburg Avenue Bridge over Nancy Run in Freemansburg Borough, Northampton County is now open. Close to 11,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge. The bridge was closed Friday, April 12 due to water damage. Emergency repairs included excavation work, placing concrete under the abutment, and installing and removing sandbag dikes for temporary stream diversion. “The contractor did an outstanding job responding to this emergency request to fix the Freemansburg Avenue Bridge,” District Executive Michael W. Rebert said. “We appreciate the patience of the Freemansburg community during this closure.” While major repairs to the structure are complete, the contractor, J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pa., still has to perform rock …