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Traffic Light Update Expected at Dec. 19 Meeting in Upper Nazareth

Newton Engineering provides Upper Nazareth and school district officials with an update on the effort to have a traffic light installed at Route 191 and Friedenstahl Avenue.

The Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors is expected to give an update on the traffic improvement plan for East Lawn Road (Route 191) and Friedenstahl Avenue at its Dec. 19 meeting.

Township solicitor Gary Asteak and several board members met with Bud Newton, of Newton Engineering, who provided a presentation and update on the effort to have a traffic light installed at the intersection near Nazareth Area Middle School.

Asteak recommended the board table public discussions and subsequent motions until Chairman Mike Rinker and Supervisor Andy Donello, who did not attend the meeting with Newton, are brought up to speed.

The Nazareth School Board on Nov. 19 approved raising the financial cap for Newton Engineering from $25,000 to $30,000. Newton is working with the school district and Upper Nazareth to get PennDOT approval for the traffic light, Superintendent Dennis Riker explained.

He told the board that Newton’s fees currently total $23,000. He said he didn’t want a situation where the engineering firm exceeded the $25,000 cap, so he recommended raising it. He also told the board that attorneys on all sides are still hashing out legal issues.

After the meeting, Riker said the  for the project and is committed to getting the traffic light installed. He also said a timeline that would include a date on when the light will be installed has never been established.

In a June story in The Express-Times, Riker’s predecessor -- Victor Lesky -- said Newton Engineering was able to get the project’s cost down from more than $2 million to about $1.2 million.

The district sent a letter to Upper Nazareth in May asking how to proceed.

PennDOT spokesman Sean Brown, according to the article, said the agency provided comments on early concept plans and will continue to work with the school district’s engineer to get the project done.

The Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors will meet at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Chris Miller December 08, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Is anyone out there who can tell us why this has taken a huge amount of time and money. It's your tax dollars at work citizens Chris Miller
Ben Miller December 08, 2012 at 09:16 PM
See, this is the problem with the way our government currently operates. Everything is a series of red tape, takes way too long and ends up being way overpriced. Both $2 million and $1.2 million are ridiculous prices to install one traffic light at an intersection that clearly needs it. Then we have Newton Engineering collecting up to $30,000 of that money for doing what township engineers should have been able to do. This has been an issue since 2009, when the Middle School was built, yet here we are, three years later and still discussing it. How many accidents have to occur before something is done? Is the township waiting for someone to get killed? I don't want an "update" on December 19th, I want to hear that the light is being build and given the date it will happen.
Chris Miller December 08, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Ben You are absolutely correct,. There was a time when some one would come to the Township and explain to them what they were going to do and when it would be done. The parties involved would have broked no nonsence. on the issue. Today we have to get all the lawyers together and the rest of the participants and waste the time. You are correct that we have simply been lucky and no one has been killed.
rick troxell December 09, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Simply put. Who did the traffic study and was paid before upper put in the new developements off of 191? Wasn't there an agreement between the school district ,upper and the state before the new school was built? If not and a study was done what was it and why hasn't it already been acted on. Tax doolars not at work effectively.Same issue will come when the new developement is built above the Nazareth park in upper. 143 homes creates more traffic.more class rooms and so on.

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