Northampton County Bridge 124 on Willowbrook Road, which passes over the Catasauqua Creek, is slated for replacement by Northampton County under the Public-Private Partnership, or P3, program. While the start date for construction has not been announced, Allen Township supervisors have voiced concerns over the proposed full detour and complete closure of the bridge. This would send an estimated 10,000 cars per day (as of 2015 statistics) into neighboring East Allen Township, Northampton and North Catasauqua.
“This is a situation when a design engineer…does not really know the area and takes the simplest path,” township manager Ilene Eckhart told supervisors during their July 26 meeting.
Supervisor Gary Behler said the only possible detours around the area are through Weaversville Road or Airport Road.
“None are really great,” he added.
He also voiced concern over how the detour would affect East Bullshead and West Bullshead Roads, adding that if West Bullshead is inaccessible, more traffic will use East Bullshead, which will worsen traffic at its intersection with Weaversville Road.
Supervisor Dale Hassler agreed. He added that, regardless of the posted detour, “people are going to go where they want to go.”
Instead of a full closure, Hassler said he would prefer the southbound lane to remain open at all times for emergency vehicles.
While supervisors will give their recommendations to the county, it is the county that has the final decision as to which detour is posted.
Hassler asked Eckhart to alert neighboring municipalities to this upcoming closure.
“It is the neighborly thing to do,” he said.
In other news, the township will be applying for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development LSA Grant. This grant uses gaming money collected from casinos in Northampton and Monroe Counties to support community projects.
Projects Allen Township is considering applying for include new sanitary sewer camera equipment, new sewer pumps, MS4 project funding, and a project that would digitally scan all township records so they can be archived and retrieved by future staff.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 10, at 7 p.m. at the Allen Township Fire Company.