If South Whitehall Township wants PennDOT to invest more money improving its congested roads, it needs to invest some money on traffic studies to move proposed solutions higher on the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s agenda.
That was the message delivered last week by township Planning Commission Secretary Bill MacNair, who asked commissioners to put between $10,000 and $15,000 in the township’s 2014 budget for traffic studies on some of the township’s more troubled roads and intersections.
MacNair also prepared a list of roads commissioners may want to target for improvements—placing the Route 309 intersection with Tilghman Street and Mauch Chunk Road from Route 22 north to Scherersville at the top of his wish list.
Commissioners may want to address different areas, he said.
The idea would be to get these road upgrades or others onto the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s Transportation Improvement Program.
The TIP list is one important way the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation assesses which state roads are in need of improvements first, making them more likely to receive project funding quickly.
“It’s guaranteed that if you don’t do this work, you won’t get on the TIP,” MacNair told commissioners during their meeting last week. “Other townships will move ahead.”
Scherersville Road improvements might be a good place to start, according to assistant township planner J. Ralph Russek Jr. Engineering has already been done to build a new bridge over the Jordan Creek at an estimated cost of $12 million, but has never gotten on the list for funding, he said.
Other roads on MacNair’s list included:
- 19th Street to Helen Street with a new connection to 15th Street at the Helen Street extension and the Route 22 West exit light on 15th Street.
- Route 309 from Ridgeview to Orefield Roads.
- Intersection of Walbert, Huckleberry and Columbia at the Paddock.
- Walbert Avenue west of Cedar Crest Boulevard.
- Intersection of Cedar Crest Boulevard and Huckleberry Road
- Intersection of Springhouse Road and Crackersport Road.