Northampton Press

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF ALLEN TOWNSHIP This diagram shows the traffic detours proposed during the stages of Kopper Penny intersection work. GRAPHIC COURTESY OF ALLEN TOWNSHIP This diagram shows the traffic detours proposed during the stages of Kopper Penny intersection work.

Allen Township shows plan for Kopper Penny intersection

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Ilene Eckhart, Allen Township manager, put on an elaborate display May 24 to detail the extent of the changes projected for the intersection near the Kopper Penny where Route 329 intersects with Howertown Road and Weaversville Road and stretches to Savage Road.

There are seven stages to the project. With all the planning and coordination issues, completion is scheduled for November.

“It is an ambitious schedule, but we are confident that we can make this happen,” Eckhart said.

Stage 1 includes preparation for stormwater and infrastructure improvements.

Stage 2 involves closing the bridge on Route 329. Traffic will be detoured at Weaversville Road to Atlas Road and back up Savage Road. The detour starts June 12 and is scheduled to end Aug. 24.

Stage 3 sets up traffic controls for added lanes of traffic.

Stage 4 adds lanes to the south of Route 329, and Stage 5 adds lanes to the north. According to Eckhart, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation only allows construction on one side of the road at a time.

Stage 6 works on adding lanes to one side of Howertown and Weaversville roads, and Stage 7 adds lanes to the other side.

Planning commission Chairman Eugene Clater indicated the numbers are showing a better traffic flow than what exists now even with additional truck traffic.

Although the plan is generally well received, a contingent from Oak Lane had more than a passing interest. Oak Lane is a residential development immediately south of Route 329 with access off Weaversville Road.

“The revised intersection is a fatality waiting to happen,” John Laky said.

His neighbor concurred.

“My daughter was ‘T-boned’ and wound up across the street in a field. You can’t see cars coming toward you because the traffic is so heavy,” Donna Teklits added.

Tim Sutton, with Pentex Construction, one of the site contractors, noted there are signs that say do not block the intersection.

“Nobody pays attention to those signs,” Teklits said. “I have to hope someone lets me in or out.”

According to the neighbors, turning left out of the development and onto Weaversville Road is a dangerous experience. Most residents try to get across Weaversville to Debbie Lane and get to their destination via local roads. Turning right on Weaversville Road adds to the traffic mess.

Connie Praetorius added that something needs to be done during the construction.

“Once drivers get past the yellow ‘Trail Crossing’ signs, they keep moving. Another sign is not going to make them slow down,” she said.

Numerous solutions were proposed to Eckhart. Installing flashing warning signs and temporary traffic controls, as well as ticketing drivers blocking the intersection, were on the list. Sutton indicated residents have the most influence over additions or modifications.

Eckhart agreed to be a coordinating point for input and suggestions and will work with PennDOT.

She added the posters and route changes displayed that night would be on display at the municipal building and on the website.

Oak Lane residents were most worried about traffic changes during the upcoming detour.

“Traffic will increase, and we may not be able to get in and out of our development safely,” Teklits said.

There was a willingness to see how things work out after the project is complete, but Oak Lane residents said they want to be sure that no one forgets they need to get in and out of their development safely after the intersection is redone.