During their meeting on January 10, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors discussed truck traffic issues already causing headaches in 2023.
On January 9, about a dozen tractor-trailers queued onto Willowbrook Road while waiting to enter the Geodis warehouse location. Township Manager Ilene Eckhart said she was made aware of this issue, but called it a “temporary” situation due to unplanned delivery issues caused by the deadly storms facing the Western United States. The issue has since been resolved, she added.
Supervisor Dale Hassler said he was also made aware of the issue. He drove to Willowbrook Road and counted 12 trucks lined up outside the property. He noted that at least one tractor-trailer navigated to Geodis via Howertown, Savage, and Atlas Roads, where trucks are banned.
Kreidersville Road resident Larry Hiestand also voiced concerns over the truck traffic in the township.
“We have always had these problems, and we are going to [continue] to have them,” he said, “[but] it has gotten heavier than it was.”
Hiestand added that tractor-trailers are “rumbling” past his house as early as four in the morning.
He asked whether anyone from Northampton Generating has been in touch with the township. In 2022, a representative from the company said they would be making several adjustments to help alleviate truck traffic, including switching vehicles from tri-axles to tankers and rotating routes.
Supervisors said they would reach out to the company for an update.
“The issue with the trucks is that there are too many of them,” said Supervisor Paul Link. Link said he believes the influx of trucks started when the weight limit on the Route 329 bridge was lowered.
“If they ever [complete] the bridge on Route 329, that is going to help,” he added.
Hiestand also asked whether it would be possible for supervisors to explore putting together a police force. This has been a discussion item for supervisors in the past. Hiestand said a police force would help with traffic issues, as well as other safety concerns.
Hassler said the Pennsylvania State Police have a “good presence” in the township and are often the first ones on the scene during an accident. Eckhart added that State Police also sit on certain roads and monitor traffic when resources allow.
“We have looked at in the past what it would take to have a police force in Allen Township, but maybe it is worth looking at it again,” said Supervisor Gary Behler. He said the township should reach out to other municipalities to get an idea of costs, which have traditionally been why Allen Township has remained with State Police. The high costs of their own police force would eat up most of the township’s budget, said Behler.
In other news, supervisors approved the purchase of a Kubota U55RCA mini excavator for $73,162.63. The equipment will be paid for using the township’s general fund and sewer account. This purchase was a planned expense in the 2023 budget.
Supervisors also approved the purchase of two mobile messaging traffic signs. These signs will help keep township workers and residents safe by alerting drivers to road work, speed changes, or other safety announcements concerning township roads.
The township has received $9,000 from the Northampton County Grow Grant to purchase the signs. The remaining $25,370 will come from the township’s American Rescue Plan funds. The signs will be picked up from State College by the township to save the $1,600 delivery fee.
Finally, supervisors unanimously approved the Setter Hill sewer facilities planning module after a recommendation from the planning commission.
The next Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting will be Tuesday, January 24 at 6 p.m.