Construction on Route 309 to begin in early spring

Author: , WFMZ.com Reporter
Published: Feb 04 2013 11:49:43 PM EST
NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Construction season will prove to be a complicated one for North Whitehall Township residents as a major project will begin on Route 309 in the coming weeks.

Donald Lerch, P.E. from McTish, Kunkel and Associates gave a brief presentation at the North Whitehall Township Supervisors Meeting regarding this Rt. 309/Sand Spring Road construction project. The project has already begun and will continue until late fall.

The biggest disruption that residents will experience in the coming weeks is with their phone and electric providers. According to Lerch, PPL, Ironton Telephone, Service Electric, RCN, Verizon, and Sunesys will need to move over 20 utility poles in the construction area. PPL and Ironton Telephone will begin moving their utility poles this month, so some customers may begin experiencing some disruption during the move.

Orchard Road will be closed in early spring and traffic will be detoured during the construction along the road. But construction will not begin on Education Park Drive until after Lehigh County Community College spring semester finals end. Education Park Drive will then be closed and all traffic detoured while the road is widened and the current blinking light at the intersection is transformed into a fully working signal.

However, the biggest disruption that residents may experience during this project will begin in the summer months. According to Lerch, Sand Spring Road will be closed after Schnecksville Elementary School closes for the summer. One of the largest concerns of residents is the fact that access to Sand Spring Road from Route 309 will be prohibited, including to emergency vehicles. Emergency Services officials expressed concerns in the amount of added time to respond to any emergency at the apartment complex, elementary school, or daycare located on Sand Spring Road.

Lerch was unable to provide a total cost of the project to the Supervisors and audience members at the meeting on Monday night, but he did estimate that the cost of just the construction portion of the project would be approximately $5 million.