Weissport negotiating for traffic light during reconstruction
Weissport Council members are wading through proposals for temporary easements and a detour through Weissport that will affect the residents in coming months.
Weissport's engineer's report clarifies traffic questions that Weissport Council wanted answered by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation concerning the detour through Weissport during the reconstruction period of the McCall bridge.
Weissport Council had requested that a PennDOT engineer attend a borough council session, and when that didn't happen, they asked David Horst of Benesch Engineering to make a few inquiries into their concerns.
Council wanted to know if parking would be permitted on both sides of Bridge Street during the detour. According to the report residents will be allows to park on Bridge Street, but given that traffic will be in one direction, the parking on the east side of Bridge Street will have to be parking facing west to reflect the traffic flow.
PennDOT will make deck repairs on the Bridge Street bridge and Bridge Street will be milled 1-1/2 inches and the bridge and Bridge Street will receive a new 1-1/2 inch of wearing course.
According to Horst's report, PennDOT will not address any existing drainage issues at the intersection of Bridge and Allen streets.
As for the proposed traffic light at Bridge and Franklin streets, Horst recommended that council submit a written request to PennDOT requesting the light at the intersection for PennDOT to consider the merits of the request and modify their plans. District Traffic Engineer Dennis Toomey will make the final decision to include a traffic light at that intersection.
Weissport Council also had concerns about an emergency access lane. According to Horst, PennDOT pointed out that the temporary light at Bridge Street and Route 209, along with the traffic lights at Route 443 and Canal Street will be equipped with emergency traffic preemption features and that PennDOT believes this should adequately address the concern for emergency access.
Weissport officials are concerned that the detour will bring a large amount of traffic through Weissport and that alone could be a problem should there be a fire or serious accident during the time when the detour is in place.
Weissport officials were told that there will not be any upgrades to the drainage from the McCall bridge although PennDOT acknowledged that there were not adequate drainage improvements of borough streets to handle the drainage from the bridge.
The temporary detour through the borough is scheduled to take place from June to August in 2014 although the actual construction is scheduled to take two months.
PennDOT will be working daytime hours only. There will be periods that the McCall bridge traffic will be shut down for jacking operations.
Benesch also address the issue of the PennDOT easement. According to Benesch, any items that are damaged during the reconstruction, such as fencing, will be replaced at no cost to the borough.
Council were also notified that UGI has offered a $1,500 fee for an easement to use a section of the tennis courts to lay an underground gas line.
Arland Moyer, council member, said that the gas line should be about 10 feet deep so it can make a steep slope to go underneath the Lehigh River.