Hearing Planned On Proposed Lehman Twp. Roundabout
LEHMAN TWP. — A new roundabout is coming to the Back Mountain and state officials want to hear any concerns residents might have.
One person they will hear from is David Sutton, the chairman of the Lehman Twp. board of supervisors, who said he is strongly against the project.
Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. May 15 regarding the roundabout planned for Route 118 in Lehman Twp. The meeting will be held at the township municipal building at 1183 Old Route 115.
According to design photos released online by the township, the Route 118 roundabout will be implemented at the intersection with Outlet Road and Mill Street near the EZ Express Citgo gas station.
Sutton said he plans to attend the meeting and state the township’s opposition to the roundabout.
“We didn’t ask for it. We’re not pushing for it. We don’t think the roundabout is needed at all. We asked them why they wanted to put it in and they said it would slow traffic down,” Sutton said Tuesday. “I am going to go on the record to say I am not in favor of it.”
Sutton said he spoke to the gas station owner who feels he could “live with” the roundabout.
As part of the overall project, safety improvement work — but not a roundabout — is also planned for another nearby intersection near the Lehman Mercantile store, the former Cook’s Variety Store. That’s where Route 118, Meeker Road, Market Street, Mountain View Drive and Firehouse Road meet — a spot known as Lehman Center. The owner of the Lehman Mercantile store has expressed support for the project, Sutton said. Sutton also thinks the proposed changes will make that area safer.
The supervisor said he expects a big crowd to come out in opposition to the roundabout.
PennDOT spokesman Michael Taluto said the overall project is “considered a highway safety improvement option” and the roundabout was seen as “the most efficient option.”
“You see more of them because of safety. They are more efficient, allow the most traffic flow and they reduce fatalities,” Taluto said.
Data on crashes in the area was not immediately available on Tuesday.
Taluto said the roundabout is in its preliminary stages and likely is years away from opening.
At the public hearing on May 15, plans for the roundabout will be presented by PennDOT design team officials.
PennDOT is seeking comments from “individuals and groups with a demonstrated interest within the project limits, surrounding businesses and local property owners,” according to an advertisement for the meeting.
Those seeking information about the plan can call PennDOT project manager Robert Wasilchak at 570-963-3188.
The planned roundabout comes less than a year since one opened in the heart of Dallas Borough, a project that also was criticized by some.
“We can go on record saying we are opposed to it but it’s a state-funded PennDOT project,” Sutton said.
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A public hearing will be held May 15 at 6 p.m. regarding proposed traffic changes, including a roundabout, on Route 118 in Lehman Twp.