Catasauqua Press

Friday, March 24, 2017

Borough of Catasauqua asks PennDOT to pay up

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Catasauqua officials are hoping PennDOT will pick up some of the cost to relocate water and sewer lines for a bridge replacement project on Race Street.

The borough council voted Feb. 6 to approve a resolution asking PennDOT to pick up 75 percent of the cost to relocate the lines.

PennDOT confirmed it is replacing the bridge over Catasauqua Creek as part of its fast track program. The original plan had a start date of April with a finish date in October, but the start has now been delayed until September.

The project will cause a severe disruption in traffic on already overloaded Race Street. The plan is to complete one side of the bridge at a time. With limited detour options, the program will be confusing even for local drivers.

In addition to potential problems with lane closures, the existing bridge has water and sewer lines serving the local area. The bridge cannot be replaced without addressing relocating the water and sewer lines.

“The cost for relocating those lines should be with PennDOT,” borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder said.

Part of Goldfeder’s reasoning is that the lines span the creek and need to be incorporated into the bridge structure. “That’s not something our people would normally handle,” he said.

Goldfeder does not expect push-back on his request.

In a related matter, the council approved relocating the PPL right of way for poles that will be relocated because of the bridge replacement. The new poles will cross Fireman’s Training Field. The Catasauqua Fire Department is retiring its facilities on the training field. The property is owned by the borough and borders Catasauqua Creek. The council does not have detailed plans for a future use.

Also at the meeting, Councilman Brian Mc- Kittrick formalized the purchase of a new police vehicle. The unit was budgeted.

Council also was asked to solicit bids to dispose of a rescue truck that will be retired once the new vehicle is in service. Presently, the vehicle is stored at the borough’s wastewater treatment plant.

Councilman Eugene Schlegel asked for volunteers to fill an opening on the borough’s shade tree commission. Renew Lehigh Valley presented the borough with a proposal to prepare a design manual for downtown improvements. The planning and zoning committee will review the proposal and make a recommendation to council.