Hellertown pedestrians and motorists may have noticed construction occurring at a number of intersections in town this week. The orange cones, safety fencing and dug-up sections of sidewalk may be an unsightly inconvenience right now, but the project they represent is a worthy one, say borough officials.
What is happening is part of Phase II of the borough’s Main Street Corridor Pedestrian Safety Initiative, which is expected to be completed by mid-August.
The current phase includes the addition of rapid-flash pedestrian crosswalks at six Main Street intersections: Wagner Avenue, Clarke Street, Thomas Avenue, Chestnut Street, Hampton Avenue and Saucon Street.
In addition to the rapid-flash crosswalks, handicapped-accessible ramps and stamped crosswalks are being installed at all of those intersections.
The Main Street crosswalk at Hampton Avenue is being moved slightly to the south, where it will intersect with the sidewalk in front of Lost Tavern Brewing. A sidewalk bumpout and bus shelter on the east side of Main Street will help complete the transformation at Thomas Avenue, according to plans shared by the borough.
New textured crosswalks are also being installed at Main and Bachman streets, Main and Division streets and Main and Water streets.
The work related to Phase II began at Division Street and Hampton Avenue and will next begin at Wagner Avenue, with the contractor “working north to south on the west side,” borough manager Cathy Hartranft said. “The east side is expected to begin in mid May.”
Hartranft noted that Phase I of the project included traffic signal improvements at four Main Street intersections: High Street, Water Street, Penn Street and Walnut Street.
The Phase II improvements began the same week that police announced charges in a case involving the death of a borough pedestrian.