Roundabout no longer considered
Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Darryl Snover opened the recent Lehigh Township supervisors meeting by indicating he received an email the morning of Nov. 25, noting a roundabout at the Berlinsville intersection was no longer under consideration.
Steven Guinter, chief highway engineer from Mackin Engineering Company, said the roundabout had to be considered because there will be federal funding. The roundabout, however, has been taken off the board agenda because of the large amount of land that would be required and possible damage to abutting properties.
The intersection of Lehigh Drive (Route 248) and Mountainview Drive is part of the National Highway System and is frequently used for truck traffic.
The traffic signals that are now on span wires will be put on arms with the street names. Traffic on Lehigh Drive will be slowed to 40 mph from the 50 mph at present to allow more time to see the light and make driving decisions. The 55 mph speed on Mountainview will be slowed to 35 mph, both only for a short distance from the intersection.
For pedestrians there are push buttons but no landings or crosswalks, which will be added. The corners will include a larger circumference allowing trucks to make turns without entering a second lane.
Driveways are to be defined instead of a large open area. No driveways will be eliminated.
Construction should begin in late 2016 and be finished by 2017. There will be no road closings and some night work during construction.
Guinter described the required land as only a "sliver," which amounts to 2-1/2 to 5 feet.
There should be no environmental impacts. The park was built with grant funds and is protected. Also, the stone house in the area is considered historic.
Lehigh Drive will be widened from 2 to 4 feet on both sides. Through lanes will be 13 feet wide and the left turn lane will be 10 feet.
Snover asked why no left turn arrow is needed. Left turns will be possible only when there is a break in through traffic.
Supervisor Cindy Miller said if the work was done for safety reasons arrows should be used.
According to Guinter, a traffic analysis will determine need.
He added that there are some options that might alter the final design. He left a comment box for suggestions that will later be taken into consideration.
Video and radar will be located on the corner. If no cars are traveling on Mountainview Drive there will be a longer green on Lehigh Drive. There will be no turn on red from Mountainview.
New technology will make traffic signals more operational.
Miller asked if new stakes near the intersection were from the state. In response, a man in the audience said he owned them for surveys.
Guinter said there will no longer be a step down onto the roadway from the curb area which can lead to a fall or stumble.
He said there may be cuts or landfills to grade out to the new right of way, but no buildings will be affected, just possibly landscaping.
Supervisor Sandy Hopkins asked about a chain-link fence on the map legend at the day care, which is temporary and will be replaced with a permanent fence after job completion.
Drainage will be checked to be sure it is operating properly or it will be replaced.
A man in the audience said Mackin should visit over the holiday. Other people, however, were satisfied with a visit during peak traffic periods.
The right-of-way plan will be complete in March or April 2015 and then communication with affected residents will begin.
There will be preemption for fire companies.
Although the cost will be borne by the federal government, people want to know what that cost will be.
Guinter said the cost will range from $750,000 to just under $1 million.