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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bethlehem Township Paves Way For Brodhead Road

Township Engineer Brian Dillman
At their April 17 meeting, Bethlehem Township's Board of Commissioners voted on a number of resolutions that gives Township engineer Brian Dillman the green light to proceed with what really is a reconstruction of Brodhead Road. That's a 9,000 ft long, two-lane Township road that extends east from Township Line Road until it intersects with Route 191. Located in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, the road is heavily traveled by tractor trailers, and has been the subject of numerous complaints by township residents. Commissioners set aside $1.3 million for this project in this year's budget, and a $400,000 grant has been secured.

Dillman told Commissioners that the eastern part of the project, near Route 191, will be completed by the Bethlehem Distribution Center developer. The project will include four pedestrian crossings, and Commissioners agreed to seek PennDot approval for warning signals at the three crossings near Township Line Road, Miller Circle and Opus Way.

Before reconstruction begins, handicapped accessible ramps must be prepared on sidewalks adjoining the road.

Bids are expected by late May, followed by a contract award construction starting in mid to late June. It will be a 120-day contract broken into three phases. In the first phase, the contractor will put together a maintenance and traffic protection plan. The second phase, will involve reconstruction of one of the road lanes. The third phase will be reconstruction of the other lane.

When the actual reconstruction starts in late July, Brodhead will be a one-way detour westbound to Route 512. Some of the work will be done at night, but Dillman said some of the work must be done in daylight or else the product suffers.

Tom Nolan, Malissa Davis and Pat Breslin voted to authorize Manager Melissa Shafer to seek bids. Mike Hudak and Kim Jenkins were absent.

In other business, Commissioners approved an update to its comprehensive plan after an exhaustive review that included 14 meetings. Planning Commissioner James Daley told the board that traffic mitigation and stormwater management are the two critical issues they considered most.

Nolan, Davis and Breslin also voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting legislative efforts to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania by establishing an independent commission to draw state legislative and congressional districts following the 2020 census. They did so following a lengthy presentation by Fritz Walker of Fair District Pa. "Voters should choose their legislators," said Walker. "Unfortunately, it's frequently legislators who are choosing the voters. That's not the way it should be."

Bethlehem Township is the 21st Pa. municipality to adopt a resolution in support of an independent redistircting commission.


Anonymous said...

Bethlehem Twp is and has been, an ongoing disgrace. Mis-managed in every department and their ignorance has cost residents, millions (community center & now Brodhead Rd).

Anonymous said...

I take it that realigning Brodhead Rd to intersect with the 22W ramp is too expensive/dead?

Bravo to the township for their symbolic support of redistrict reform. Hopefully our state reps Marcia Hahn get the message that people want this common sense solution to a major problem in our state government.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Last I heard, it is more than anyone wants to pay. Let me add that Route 191 is a state road and the ramp is not the township responsibility either, but Twp Comm'rs have asked PennDot to do something abut that bottleneck on many occasions.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the worst section of road in the entire Valley.
These are the fools who will deal with the drainage issues around Green Pond?
They haven't done enough damage already?

Anonymous said...

Totally get that its an expensive proposition to fix, but the entire stretch of 191 from 22 up to Newburg/946 (another horrible intersection)is only going to get worse in the coming years. I highly doubt that its going to get cheaper to resolve at any point in the future. Might as well just bite the bullet now and get it over with.