For residents of and visitors to the southern half of Hellertown, access to the Saucon Rail Trail (SRT) will soon be improved.
Another access point is being added at the end of East Saucon Street, near its intersection with Front Street, which is approximately midway between the Hellertown trailheads at Water Street Park and Grist Mill Park on Walnut Street.
The new connection is not considered a trailhead, borough manager Cathy Hartranft said, “but an improved mid-point connection to the SRT.”
A 2010 Walkable Communities study identified Saucon Street as an important mid-point connection between the trail and the nearby Main Street commercial district, she explained.
Hartranft said funding for the connection is from a $180,000 grant from the Northampton County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); a grant which is also funding the installation of Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant handicapped ramps with new curb bump-outs and marked crosswalks at the intersections of Saucon and Harris streets, and Saucon and Front streets.
“The connection to the Saucon Rail Trail will include a new sidewalk, retaining wall and railing, and culvert,” she said. “Landscaping of the bump-outs will be done to green the block, which is currently devoid of street trees due to its narrow width.”
Contractor F.A. Rohrbach was awarded the bid for the work at the Nov. 7, 2016 council meeting, and began work in the area earlier this month.
Substantial completion of the project is expected no later than April 28.