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Milford Officials Offer PennDOT a Solution to Roundabout Delay
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent
2023-11-15

            For almost a year, Milford township residents have been waiting for the Portzer Road roundabout to be opened. At last Wednesday's board of supervisors meeting, officials reviewed possibilities for helping to move the project to completion.

            The detour has caused traffic issues and inconveniences on Old Bethlehem Pike and surrounding roads. The first delay was due to wires on a Verizon pole that needed to be transferred. After that was completed, the lighting for the roundabout held the project up yet again.

"The lesser issue is now major," said Township Manager Jeff Vey when he was discussing the light poles. 

            Due to supply chain issues, the permanent light poles have not arrived and therefore have not been installed. A construction meeting was held to discuss alternatives to move the process along.

            PennDOT estimates that the poles should be manufactured by December 8th and then it will take another week for delivery and another two weeks for installation. This could have the roundabout open just before the holidays, but this is not guaranteed.

            One option was to install wooden utility poles to mount temporary fixtures immediately adjacent to the concrete foundations for the permanent fixtures. This alternative would cost approximately $33,000.

            Residents have responded to the issue. During a construction meeting, resident Fran Murray informed supervisor John Mininger that St. Isadore's has four light poles that are not being used. This was relayed to Township Manager Jeffrey Vey at the construction meeting. PennDOT consultants and the contractor were also given the information.

            After inspecting the light poles, it was noted that the bolt pattern at the base of the pole was different from the bolt pattern in the concrete foundation of the roundabout. Christian and Derrick Haberle, from Haberle Steel, can fabricate the modifications necessary to mount the poles.

            Details about the transformer pad, mounting lighting fixtures onto poles, and illumination levels are being discussed to find solutions. Milford Township has concrete barricades that can be used temporarily to block pedestrian traffic. 

            The final say belongs to PennDOT, however, the township is hopeful that a quick and skillful response by residents will assist in mediating delays and moving the project forward to open the roundabout.

            Due to increased traffic on Old Bethlehem Pike, Brick Tavern Road, East Swamp Road and the four-way stop sign, the roundabout detour has created havoc on those roads. Speed is a major issue and has contributed to six accidents in the last six months.

            To alleviate the problem, the township authorized a mobile four-way flashing sign to be implemented at Bethlehem Pike.

            The 2024 preliminary budget was on the agenda for review. There is no tax increase and the budget is in good standing for the new fiscal year.

"Everything is covered," Mininger said.

            A motion was made and unanimously approved to advertise the budget for adoption at the supervisors meeting in December. 


 

 

 

 

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