Township engineer William Erdman said it has been delayed by an environmental issue - stormwater infiltrating through mine wash and reaching groundwater at the site of the new intersection.

But Erdman said construction of the "brand new intersection" should begin by summer. He predicted when completed, trucks will use that intersection rather than finding other roads to take, as many do now.

Elaborating later, he said: "The expectation is they should be able to start it sometime this summer, but they won't finish it. They'll probably finish it sometime in 2015."

Spring Ridge Crossings Park and Trail

Commissioners approved applying for two grants from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to develop a Spring Ridge Crossings Park and greenway trail.

They hope to get $100,000 to create the park and another $100,000 for the trail. If approved, the township will have to match both grants, but it will have four years to pay for its total $200,000 match.

Sara Pandl, the township's planning and economic development director, said the township has received more than 22 acres of land along Little Lehigh Creek as part of the Spring Ridge Estates development.

She said the park, which would be off Spring Ridge Drive W., would have parking lots and at least two athletic fields.

She said lacrosse fields could go in the new park to end an unsafe situation with existing fields near Lower Macungie Middle School. She said people don't have any place to park there, so they're parking where parking was not intended and walking in roads.

Higgins indicated the proposed park also could have a baseball field, "which we're desperately in need of and always will be, because there just aren't nearly enough of them."

Pandl later confirmed the proposed park is large enough to have two soccer/lacrosse fields in its upper section and a softball field in its lower section.

Another part of the project is to install the trail along the creek between Brookside Road and Wild Cherry Lane, which Pandl said is a distance of about one mile. She indicated that trail will give anglers more access to the creek.

She put the total cost for the park and trail segment at $438,000.

Pandl said last year the township tried to land a similar grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development, but was not successful.

Hills at Lock Ridge

The 700-home Hills at Lock Ridge subdivision was first approved by Lower Macungie in 1999, said Erdman, with more recently approved revisions.

The entire subdivision plan came back before township commissioners for re-approval again Thursday night because developer David Jaindl wanted two changes -- to modify the design of a stormwater detention basin and to build a twin home rather than a single family home on one property in the subdivision.

Jaindl said he voluntarily is adding recreational facilities near what was referred to as detention pond - including a tot lot, a pavilion, a parking area and a 200-foot-long walking path.

Jaindl also has agreed to increase money for long-term maintenance of the detention pond from $17,000 to $20,500.

Erdman later explained the intent is interest from that $20,500 should be enough for the township to maintain the pond for 20 years.

Commissioner Brown was concerned that the modified detention pond will require more inspections and maintenance when it is turned over to the township. He suggested plans for the pond should be reviewed by the township's public works department, which will be responsible for that maintenance, before commissioners approve it.

Commissioner James Lancsek objected, saying subdivision plans are not sent to the public works department for review. He called Brown's suggestion "a needless delay."

"Procedure is not being followed," said Lancsek. "Why are we picking this developer to change that procedure?"

Jaindl, who was at the meeting, agreed with Lancsek, saying: "A delay does not make any sense at this point." He pressed commissioners for immediate approval, saying the twin home site has been sold and "we want to pick up building permits and get it started. We have a contractor that wants to break ground as soon as the snow and the frost lift."

Trying to reach a compromise, Commissioner Brian Higgins suggested a one-month delay - then a two-week delay -- in approving the plan, so the township's public works staff could have a chance to review the pond modifications.