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Public Meeting Addresses Lower Macungie Traffic Changes

While some will benefit developers, township officials said all will help the people who live there.

About 40 residents of the Hills at Lockridge and the homes that surround the development met Feb. 24 in the community center located in the development’s midst to hear from township officials about changes that will be made to two intersections in their neighborhood.

Township Manager Bruce Fosselman and Commissioners Ryan Conrad, Joe Pugliese, Douglas Brown and Ron H. Eichenberg and engineers Bill Erdman and Alan Fornwalt explained and took questions about changes to the intersection of Route 100 and Schoeneck Road and the extension of Sauerkraut Lane up to the point where it would meet Quarry Road.

Other changes were explained as possibilities, but the changes to the two intersections are scheduled to be completed in the next 12-18 months.

At Route 100 and Schoeneck Road, the intersection itself will be moved slightly from its current location, said Erdman, the township engineer.

“The Schoeneck intersection will be moved to the crest of the hill so sight clearance will be well improved,” Erdman said, and the road will be widened and a traffic signal will be installed.

Additionally, Sauerkraut Lane will be extended across Route 100 to the point that it will connect with Quarry Road, he said.

When confronted, Erdman did not deny that the improvements would help the traffic that is expected to be generated by the Spring Creek Properties, owned by Jaindl Land Co., which is now in the planning stages. Hundreds of acres of farmland are expected to be industrially, commercially and residentially developed. The poor economic climate is slowing its progress, though, he noted, so it may be awhile before some of the additional changes could be made.

One of the biggest of the additional changes includes the closing of the railroad crossing at Orchard Road.

Erdman explained that in an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railroad, a new crossing could be created on Sauerkraut Lane after the Orchard Road crossing is closed. The Orchard Road crossing is on Norfolk Southern’s “most dangerous” list, he said.

Resident Donald Parr agreed. He remembered a tractor trailer that became stuck on the tracks about three years ago at Orchard Road and in trying to free itself, broke in half.

“It could have been a disaster,” he said, so he was very glad at the prospect of its elimination.

Parr’s neighbor, Diane Bleam who lives right next to the tracks, said there have been several trucks that have been stuck there.

“I’ve called Norfolk Southern several times with no result,” she said, “It’s very unsafe.”

A few residents were concerned that Scenic View Drive, which parallels the tracks, would become a speedway, since another of the improvements includes connecting it to Church Street in Alburtis.

Fosselman and Conrad said they would look into ways to quiet the traffic there.

Though the Schoeneck and Sauerkraut intersection improvements are definite and will begin soon, Erdman, Fosselman and Conrad assured the group that the Orchard Road crossing closing and creation of the Sauerkraut crossing, as well as the connection of Scenic View Drive to Church Street are still under consideration.

Taxpayers will be notified in time to be heard before the commissioners vote on them, they said.

Ben Dover February 26, 2011 at 12:08 PM
When do we change the name of Macungie (Lenape for Bear's feeding place) to that of Newark (New Jersian for over developed hell hole)

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