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Salisbury-Bound Tractor-Trailers Misguided to Steel City, Council Told

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A Google map pin is located at 1700 Riverside Drive, Lower Saucon Township, instead of 1700 Riverside Drive, Salisbury Township. Both locations have a "1700 Riverside Drive, Bethlehem" mailing address although they have different zipcodes.

A Google map pin is located at 1700 Riverside Drive, Lower Saucon Township, instead of 1700 Riverside Drive, Salisbury Township. Both locations have a “1700 Riverside Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015” mailing address.

Tractor-trailers bound for Riverside Drive in Salisbury Township, Lehigh County, are being misguided to Riverside Drive in Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, because of a pin on a Google map, Lower Saucon Township Council learned Wednesday night.

According to Steel City resident Donna Louder, at least five tractor-trailers loaded with steel have ended up in her neighborhood over the past few weeks because they followed the map to a point that’s actually miles from their intended destination.

Township manager Jack Cahalan said the problem is known to the township and has been addressed without success in the past.

“The problem is on Google Maps,” he said. “We did make a request to Google Maps to change that pin and that’s been about two years and nothing happened.”

A request for help from PennDOT was also successful, he added.

Part of the problem is that both locations apparently have a very similar or possiblly identical mailing address: 1700 Riverside Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015. However, they are located in different municipalities and different counties.

A Bing map search for 1700 Riverside Drive, Bethlehem, PA displays a map of the Salisbury Township location with the address: 1700 Riverside Drive, Allentown, PA 18103.

Louder–who is also a councilwoman-elect–suggested that perhaps the┬ásection of┬áRiverside Drive in Salisbury Township could be renamed “Riverside Industrial Drive” to help differentiate between the two roads.

Township zoning officer Chris Garges told council changing the name of Salisbury’s Riverside Drive–a remote road with few addresses–should be easier than changing the name of Lower Saucon’s Riverside Drive, which has numerous homes along it.

“We could write to (Salisbury Township) if council wants,” Cahalan suggested. “I don’t know which Riverside Drive was there first,” he added.

According to Cahalan, the trucks were likely bound for Barker Steel, which online search results indicate is located at 1700 Riverside Drive in Salisbury Township, near the Lehigh County Men’s Community Correctional Center.

REEB Millwork is another company located along that section of road, but will soon be moving to a different location, according to Cahalan.

“I feel sorry for the truck drivers,” Louder said. “They just get to a certain point and they look like a deer in the headlights…like ‘what do I do?'”

She told council she recently walked into the road to stop one of the trucks from proceeding down the wrong Riverside Drive.

She said she told driver: “You don’t want to go any further.”

Turning a big rig around in Steel City is difficult, and there is a risk of property damage if one of the trucks proceeds into the neighborhood, Louder said.

A Google map shows Riverside Drive in Salisbury Township, which is where Barker Steel, REEB Millwork and other industrial facilities are located.

A Google map shows Riverside Drive in Salisbury Township, which is where Barker Steel, REEB Millwork and other industrial or manufacturing facilities are located along with a men’s prison.

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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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