During their meeting on Tuesday, March 28, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting parking on Willowbrook Road, ending several months of headaches for local commuters following long queues of tractor-trailers blocking the road.
The ordinance prohibits parking, stopping, idling, or standing on Willowbrook Road from the Hanover Township line to Savage Road. This new ordinance will be enforced by the state police, and signs will be erected to ensure compliance.
In other news, Township Manager Ilene Eckhart provided an update on two upcoming PennDOT bridge projects in the township. Both the Indian Trail Road Bridge and Howertown Road Bridge will see construction, closures, and detours in the coming months.
Starting on May 1, the southbound lane of the Howertown Road Bridge will be closed until October as construction crews replace a box culvert. The northbound lane will remain open. Southbound traffic will detour to Seemsville Road via Old Carriage Road; however, supervisors worry that drivers may opt for the more direct route via Mud Lane.
Construction on the Indian Trail Road Bridge will begin in the summer, overlapping with the Howertown Road construction. As a result, drivers can expect a significant amount of overlapping signage at the Kreidersville intersection, which may confuse motorists.
Eckhart voiced some concerns over this confusion, as well as the ongoing Mud Lane water project/pavement restoration at East Allen Gardens. She has contacted the City of Bethlehem, urging them to expedite the project’s completion so there is smoother travel during the detour.
Prologis and Jaindl-Watson have also been contacted, as their warehouses should be occupied by this summer, increasing local traffic. The township also asked Prologis whether emergency vehicles can use their private roads temporarily to make for faster response times during construction. Prologis has scheduled a meeting to discuss this matter.
Emails and social media will be distributed with more information on these upcoming projects. State police and local schools will also be informed of ongoing changes.
“Hopefully, this will go quick,” said Supervisor Dale Hassler.
“It’s going to be messy,” Eckhart agreed.
Finally, Eckhart announced a hearing for April 20 with the Zoning Hearing Board. The hearing is due to a zoning appeal by the owners of the Landis property.
Several buildings have been constructed on this property, located in the rural zone. Eckhart explained that this zone provides for a family farm support business, but no application for the Landis property has been filed. A landscaping business is operating on the property, which is not purely agricultural.
Eckhart asked for the board’s approval to send solicitor Lincoln Treadwell to the hearing on behalf of the township. However, Treadwell said Eckhart and himself should visit the property before the hearing to see whether an agreement can be determined beforehand.
This request was approved 4-1 by supervisors. Only Supervisor Gary Behler voted no. He worried the township may set a precedent by meeting with the property owner before the hearing and may be too lenient. Supervisors asked that Treadwell and Eckhart report their findings to the board before further decisions are made.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be Tuesday, April 11 at 6 p.m.