After watching 34 tractor-trailers travel down Hanoverville Road -- and over a bridge with a posted weight limit -- in Lower Nazareth Township in one month, Laurie Ehasz paid another visit to the Board of Supervisors.
This time, she brought a petition signed by her neighbors, imploring the board to take action.
“I don’t know what to do anymore,” she said, adding that the problem will only worsen when the Greenfield Industrial Park moves in at the intersection of Hanoverville Road and Keystone Drive.
Ehasz, who lives a few doors down from The Spot at the corner of Route 191 and Hanoverville Road, first brought the issue to the board in May.
The problem isn't just noise, Ehasz said. The old, concrete bridge on Hanoverville Road -- just before Dutch Springs -- isn’t strong enough to bear that kind of repeated weight. The bridge has a posted weight limit of 10 single tons.
Ehasz has been doing some research on the Monocacy Creek Bridge, which was built in 1949, and found that in 2008, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation gave it a sufficiency rating of 62.2 percent. Three years later, in 2011, its sufficiency rating had dropped to 52.2 percent.
Sean Brown, a district press officer for PennDOT, confirmed Ehasz's information, though the bridge in question belongs to the township, not the state.
Brown did not elaborate on the sufficiency rating because of the indepth engineering information that went into determining that number. He did say, however, that even brand new bridges never see a perfect 100.
The bridge is "functionally obsolete," Brown said, meaning there is something about the bridge that is not up to date with current standards. That's not to say the bridge is unsafe, he noted.
Most of the time, Brown said, municipalities and PennDOT work together to determine the best route for road and bridge repair.
"Even though this is not our bridge, we have a responsibility to make sure drivers are safe," he said. "There is a weight restriction for a reason. That’s the weight we feel is safe for travel on this bridge. Increasingly putting heavier vehicles than it can handle is not the safest situation. So that is a concern."
At the May meeting, Ehasz was told by Chairman Eric Nagle to continue contacting Colonial Regional Police.
She has done just that -- several times.
According to Ehasz, officers told her they are aware of the problem. When she spoke to Chief Roy Seiple, Ehasz said, he told her that it takes six to eight minutes to arrive. By that time, Seiple told her, the offending trucks would be gone.
Supervisor James Pennington said he also talked to Seiple.
“[Seiple] assured me [the police] were going to be more vigilant out there,” Pennington said. “The only way people will abide by that is to have someone sit there.”
Pennington offered to take Ehasz's petition to Seiple to further emphasize the need for a police presence on Hanoverville Road.