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Traffic options sought during bridge project

Published September 05. 2013 08:11AM

Weissport Borough Council has not stopped looking into options to protect residents during a period of time when traffic will be detoured through the town due to the reconstruction of the Thomas McCall Bridge on Route 209.

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.

Council president Gene Kershner said that he had a recent meeting with state Rep. Doyle Heffley to ask for help with funds to pay for another part-time police officer during the detour time frame.

Kershner said that Heffley was supportive to the borough's plight and said he would look into it.

"I've asked for help with costs to pay a part-time police officer during the detour," said Kershner. "We have concerns that someone will get hurt or possibly killed. We also have a school that we have concerns about."

Members of council initially asked for a temporary traffic light to help residents exit the borough, but that request was turned down by PennDOT officials who cited the train tracks being too close to the proposed site.

"We have to worry because of the safety of the residents," said Sue Pywar, council vice president. "We have a responsibility to our residents."

Kershner said that he is hoping that possibly a retired state police officer would be able to take a few shifts during periods of high volume traffic periods in Weissport during the time of the detour.

PennDOT plans to put a temporary light at Bridge Street and Route 209, along with the traffic lights at Route 443 and Canal Street. The lights will be equipped with emergency traffic preemption features. PennDOT believes this should adequately address the concern for emergency access.

Weissport officials have said they are concerned that the detour will bring a large amount of traffic through Weissport and that could be a problem should there be a fire or serious accident during the time when the detour is in place.

Moyer reported that he applied for a grant to purchase signs for the crosswalks. He also noted that signs will be ordered to mark a school zone on Bridge Street.

"We're going to have some serious issues with our streets after the detour," said Moyer. "We'll have to address repaving White Street."

Council members also discussed the high cost of code enforcement.

"We will have to look at other ways to handle code enforcement costs," said Moyer.

Pywar said the code enforcement officer has made some progress.

"The worst of the homes has improved somewhat," she said.

"They know how to do the minimal amount of work that is necessary to comply."

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