Milford Township Supervisors expressed their disapproval toward a construction plan proposed by Dewberry Engineers to improve the intersection of Route 663 and Allentown Road.
The project, which was presented at Tuesday’s meeting by Patrick Gerstner, an engineer at Dewberry Engineers, is estimated to be an $8 million project and to involve 2,500 feet of work. The changes and additions to the intersection were proposed to start in the spring of 2014 and expected to be completed by the end of 2016 at the very earliest.
The end result of the project would be for Route 663 to be expanded into a four-lane highway with south-bound and east-bound left-hand turns to eliminate traffic congestion and decrease the amount of accidents at the intersection and for the two bridges within the construction zone to be replaced.
According to Gerstner, the Route 663 bridge was initially built to accommodate a four lanes and left-hand turn lane, but both the bridge at Route 663 and the bridge at Allentown Road would have to be replaced due to hydraulics caused by having the creek alongside them. If the construction were to start, the existing bridges would be maintained until the new bridges were finished and traffic would be transferred to the new bridges.
The downfall to the proposed construction plan is the lack of a left-hand turn lane going northbound on Route 663. Gerstner explained that there were several environmental concerns which needed to be taken into consideration upon the design of the project. One of these concerns was the historical district at Milford Square. The State Preservation office determined that the historical buildings alongside the construction area could not, at this time, be removed or altered.
Supervisor Charles Strunk openly expressed the most concern about the problem with having no northbound left-hand turn. “This particular spot is the spot of most concern for both accidents and traffic buildup, and going through with an $8 million project and not including this lane will make the project less of a success.”
Strunk, along with Chairman Robert Mansfield and township manager Jeff Vey, implied that looking further into the historical concerns and regulations would be worthwhile before attempting to begin such a costly and time-consuming project.