Lehman – Representative Karen Boback and Senator Lisa Baker are working with officials from Lehman Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to address concerns about safety along Route 118 in Luzerne County.
Earlier this year, Boback and Baker met with law enforcement officials, township supervisors and PennDOT representatives to discuss plans to improve travel and prevent accidents on this busy roadway.
“Our goal was to work together to identify solutions to improve public safety,” Representative Boback said. “I think we were able to find effective and practical solutions to minimize traffic problems on Route 118.”
As a result of these discussions, the township secured a $5,000 Smooth Operator grant to combat aggressive driving along Route 118. The funding provides additional manpower and traffic enforcement equipment.
Lehman Township Police Chief Howard Kocher believes the grant will help make Route 118 safer. “The money allows us to dedicate additional hours to cracking down on speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors,” he said. “We are also coordinating with the Pennsylvania State Police for additional enforcement.”
Using crash statistics, PennDOT safety engineers also identified specific intersections – Idetown Road, Lehman Corners, Harris Pond Road and SR 487 – that qualify for federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding. This designation is the first step in securing any additional project funding from PennDOT.
“We will continue pushing for safety improvements on Route 118,” said Senator Baker. “Accidents happen, but by deterring speeding motorists and making the appropriate enhancements, we can eliminate unnecessary dangers for those traveling this road.”
Additional safety precautions include the removal of seven passing zones, the installation of new reflective pavement markers and rumble strips, and the cutting of overgrown brush to improve visibility. PennDOT has replaced outdated signs at Fedor Road and Idetown Road, and will complete additional upgrades by the end of April. Signs alerting drivers of their speed and reminding them to slow down will also be set up in problem zones.
“We are thrilled,” said Supervisor Dave Sutton. “This is a great example of what can be accomplished when all levels of government come together to help the people they represent.”
Carol Sweeney, Representative Boback’s Office, (570) 836-4777
Brian Grove, Senator Baker’s Office, (570) 675-3931