Location of new bridge not a solution to problems
The proposed location of the new bridge in Jim Thorpe/historic Mauch Chunk is not a solution for the town's huge traffic problems and MUST be stopped! This higher above the river, longer in length bridge, to be located from West Front Street to PA Legislative Route 209 will be at least twice, perhaps three times the cost of a new shorter, lower above the river bridge located along side the present bridge. Also a traffic light located at the west end of the bridge, releasing traffic onto Route 209, risks a constant backup of traffic to the bad curve located above the Liberties intersection. This backup of traffic promotes a potential deadly situation.
Replacing the present bridge with a new bridge placed along side of it, located where the bridge it replaced was located, is a better choice. A bridge at this location retains the short walking distance between the east side and west side of the river and is a better, safer choice. Cost and safety are not the only considerations for the new bridge location; better traffic solutions should also play an important part in the decision.
I also propose that all railroad traffic through Jim Thorpe/Mauch Chunk would use the railroad tracks from southwest of Glen Onoko, proceed across the Landing Bridge to CNJ's Nesquehoning Junction and then south through town to the Lehigh River Narrows and into the Packerton Yard. This would require co-operation of the Norfolk Southern and Reading Northern railroads. The funds derived from the lower cost of the shorter, lower bridge could be used for railroad improvements to accommodate this proposed idea. This now would allow the Lehigh Valley track bed from the Landing Bridge to the Narrows Bridge to be used for a road bypassing historic Mauch Chunk/Jim Thorpe and the Mansion House Hill road. This would be a solution for two terrible traffic problems and the costly maintenance of the Mansion House Hill road.
Govt. servants; start the dialogue with the railroads and solve these problems!
Gerald "Jerry" Strubinger,
lifelong Jim Thorpe/Mauch Chunk resident