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A new traffic light?

Published June 22. 2013 09:02AM

Lehighton Borough Council recently discussed the potential of two traffic improvements on Ninth Street in the borough, one being the installation of a traffic light at Ninth and Bridge Street.

The other would be a left-turn lane for motorists traveling north on Ninth Street and turning into the campus of the Lehighton Area School District (at Ninth and Union Streets).

Both are only in the preliminary phases, but the council members indicated they would like to see both occur.

Numerous traffic accidents have occurred over the years at the intersection of Ninth and Bridge Streets. Presently there are stop signs on Bridge Street.

What also has been a concern to the council in the past is the danger pedestrians have for crossing the street at the intersection. The location is about a block from the Lehighton Municipal Swimming Pool and many children have to cross the busy street when walking to the pool.

"There have been safety concerns," said Borough Manager Nicole Beckett.

She said the cost of installing the traffic light would be the responsibility of the borough. PennDOT would require a written financial commitment to the project, she added.

Beckett said as a comparative figure, a traffic light installed at Normal Square in Mahoning Township in 2009 cost $166,000. In addition, the borough would have to upgrade curbs and sidewalks.

A traffic study was done two years ago to support such a project, she said.

Councilman Scott Rehrig said the borough will contact state officials, including its senator and state representative, in an effort to obtain funding for such a project.

Regarding the left-turn lane on Ninth Street, the council was advised that the borough would have to submit a plan for the project for PennDOT approval.

The Ninth and Union Street intersection is especially busy on school days when students turn from Ninth Street into the Lehighton Area High School parking lot.

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