Lower Nazareth Residents Sign Petition to End Illegal Truck Traffic

Laurie Ehasz submits a petition to the Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors in hopes of getting a stronger police presence on Hanoverville Road and stopping illegal truck traffic.

After watching 34 tractor-trailers travel down Hanoverville Road -- and over a bridge with a posted weight limit -- in in one month, Laurie Ehasz paid another visit to the .

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  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, .

The problem isn't just noise, Ehasz said. The old, concrete bridge on Hanoverville Road -- just before  -- 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 .

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.

Common Sense June 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM
They should have never been allowed to build these trucking depots in our area with so many access roads that were not built for this kind of traffic.Our quality of life has been altered severely with their bad decisions and has cost our townships a lot of grief and tax payers money to repair and upgrade the roads. Why don't they put these depots in their own back yards if they want them so much. Let them live with the stink, noise, beeping, trash along the road, and yard damage. It is a big price to pay for going backwards, why don't the supervisors do their jobs and protect the community.
yep June 15, 2012 at 02:52 PM
without the trucks u wouldnt have the stuff u use every day so maybe u should think of that everything u use in yr house they bring in
Ron Beitler June 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM
@Yup The issue is not with trucks or tuckers. It's where these facilities are built. These should be built on urban brown fields NOT suburban green fields where residents must pay the bill for the infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. This kind of development on greenfields is almost always subsidized by the taxpayer. This should be built where the infrastructure is already in place to handle it and where jobs are needed. See my blogpost below/ http://lowermacungie.patch.com/blog_posts/alternative-to-warehouses-on-prime-farmland
Uought2NoMe June 15, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Don't get mad at the police. There are specific routes for truck traffic clearly mapped out with signs. It is the truckers themselves who think they can take a shortcut to get where they are going. Or the same truckers using GPS units that don't account for truck routes. And citing the drivers will make an impact, but only on that driver that is cited. Those trucking terminals have hundreds/thousands of trucks coming and going every day. Many of those drivers are going there for the first time and they don't know until its too late. I agree, cite the drivers, but a petition will do nothing except fill a piece of paper with names. Thats it. My answer to fix the issue, put up bigger and more signs on 191 to mark that Hanoverville Road is not for trucks. I bet you anything that the trucks you see on Hanoverville Road are going westbound from Rt. 191. Not the other way around, why?...because it is clearly posted for the truckers when they C&S.
Eric Harding June 17, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Well, if the truckers are to blame and they are getting away with this, what is the next logical step?? THE POLICE. Why? FOR NOT POLICING. The fact that it has become such an issue should shed light on a few problems. The truckers for not obeying posted traffic control devices no matter the size. The police for not properly policing the area, maybe because their area of coverage is too large for the department. And the warehouses, for not properly educating drivers on the correct route to the warehouse. It can fall on all of the above shoulders. The people who live in this development SHOULD NOT have to be doing this at all. By the way, the route is CLEARLY marked at the corner that says no trucks. And once they hit that bridge and realize that they are overweight they shouldn't proceed over it at all. This LARGELY falls on the truckers shoulders. I wish I could take shortcuts in my line of work and get away with it. But I don't think that it would be much appreciated. Oh, isn't that what is going on here??


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