Dear Editor:

This past weekend Route 309 in Tamaqua was closed to repair the railroad crossing on Center Street. Overall, the preparation and response by the local police, fire, ambulance and residents was commendable and allowed our community to get through the road closing with only a few incidents and as little impact as can be expected given the circumstances. I would like to commend Police Chief Mattson and the Tamaqua police for their preparation and responsiveness.

The contractors who performed the work did a good job finishing early so the road could be opened sooner than anticipated and there is no doubt that the new railroad crossing is superior to the jarring, deteriorated crossing we knew so well. I would also like to thank Rep. Jerry Knowles and Sen. Dave Argall for working with PennDOT to fund this project and for working with local communities in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties to prepare for the road closing.

The weekend reminded all of us that Tamaqua remains an important transportation hub for pedestrian, rail and automotive travel that supports our local, regional, national and even international economies. The new crossing, improved traffic signals, pedestrian streetscape, trail, riverwalk, train station and soon-to-be-constructed bridge are much needed transportation enhancements that help our community effectively handle these diverse transportation pressures. Thankfully, the hassle of constructing the improvements is temporary while the benefits are lasting.

Micah Gursky