After numerous complaints about the condition of major roads in Lower Saucon Township following Tuesday’s winter storm, township officials are encouraging area residents and motorists to report snow-covered or icy state roads to the agency responsible for maintaining them: the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
In a township Facebook post Thursday morning, it was stressed that “the roadways are maintained by PennDOT and therefore any wintry precipitation is their responsibility to remove.”
Many residents commented on the difference between the condition of township-maintained roads–which generally received positive reviews following the storm–and state roads.
Motorists who observe poor or unsafe conditions on any of the following state roads should call PennDOT at 610-250-1840: Rt. 378, Rt. 412, Lower Saucon Road between Easton Road and the Williams Township line, Seidersville Road from Hickory Hill Road west to the Salisbury Township line, Easton Road from Cherry Lane to the Williams Township line, Riverside Drive between Shimersville and Redington roads, Friedensville Road between Bingen Road and the Hellertown borough line, Hickory Hill Road between Seidersville and Friedensville roads, Applebutter Road between Lower Saucon Road/the Bethlehem city line/Shimersville Road, Bingen Road between Black River and Friedensville roads, Black River Road between Rt. 378 and Bingen Road, Redington Road between Lower Saucon Road and Riverside Drive and Flint Hill Road between Rt. 412 and the Springfield Township line.
On Wednesday, township manager Leslie Huhn said she had contacted PennDOT to find out why the state roads in the township were in unsually poor condition after the storm, and encouraged residents to do so as well.
On Thursday afternoon, in an email, she said she’d not yet received a response, but would be following up with PennDOT District 5-0 officials with both a letter from the township and photos of the state roads taken Wednesday.
She added that residents are welcome to contact the township with any concerns as well, but that their concerns may carry more weight if they’re directly communicated to PennDOT.
In a Lehigh Valley Live article published Thursday, PennDOT spokesman Ron Young didn’t specifically address any Saucon Valley roads, but said that in general it was the timing of sleet that fell twice during the major storm that contributed to “hardpack” conditions on major arteries elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley.
During the first 24 hours of the storm, PennDOT road crews were heavily focused on treating interstates and expressways, which resulted in the sleet and snow that fell being compacted into “hardpack” on state highways and roads, he explained.
Huhn also speculated at the township council meeting that state roads in Lower Saucon may not have been adequately pretreated before the storm, according to a WFMZ news story.