A proposal by the state Department of Transportation to route trucks through Lansford and Summit Hill in order to avoid the weakened Andrewsville bridge will take at least one month to put in place.
Meanwhile, Lansford council has asked PennDOT to send representatives to discuss the plan with borough officials. Solicitor Michael Greek faxed a letter to the department on Wednesday.
The plan surfaced at a May council meeting, when council members said they were concerned about the heavy trucks traveling through the town's narrow streets and on the steep, curving Route 902 hill between Lansford and Summit Hill, especially in winter.
Councilman Lenny Kovach was worried about the children making their way to classes at Our Lady of Angels Academy on Bertsch Street near the Route 902 intersection. Councilman Tommy Vadyak was concerned about time-pressed truckers taking shortcuts through town.
PennDOT spokesman Ron Young has said two department engineers met on May 12 with Lansford officials to talk about the plan. Traffic signaling lines and crosswalks at the intersection of Route 209 (E. Patterson Street) and Route 902 (Springgarden Street) will need to be painted to allow more room to trucks to turn, he said.
Young said that the detour has yet to be officially approved.
"Regulations dictate the truck detour for a state route must take you from one state route to another, so it will utilize only state routes," he said. "It will probably take one or two months before the route is approved, and the signs are ordered and installed."
In October, PennDOT restricted the Andrewsville bridge, on Route 209 between Lansford and Nesquehoning and just west of the Panther Valley High School, to under 30 tons. PennDOT reduced the weight limit after a routine inspection revealed deterioration of the main concrete box beams.