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Grit: June 14, 1959 – Engineer May Have Idea for ‘Confusion Corner’

A new deal may be in the making for motorists using the awkward intersection of Hepburn Street, Market Street, and Rural Avenue, Harold W. Reitz, district highway engineer suggested yesterday. Mr. Reitz said he has an alternative to the idea of erecting traffic lights, which has been discussed by Mayor Thomas Levering, Police Chief John

A new deal may be in the making for motorists using the awkward intersection of Hepburn Street, Market Street, and Rural Avenue, Harold W. Reitz, district highway engineer suggested yesterday.

Mr. Reitz said he has an alternative to the idea of erecting traffic lights, which has been discussed by Mayor Thomas Levering, Police Chief John Good and city council.

He indicated he might discuss the idea with city officials in the near future. The formation of plans for “Confusion Corner” however, would depend on the availability of funds in the highway department, he said.

The highway engineer would not reveal his thinking on the problem, but his mention of funds indicated that he had construction rather than rerouting, in mind. For years it has been suggested that Washington Boulevard and High Street be connected, either by cutting through Harris Place or building a ramp over it, to give highway access to High Street without using the Hepburn-Market-Rural intersection.

Paired with this is the need for a Route 15 bypass. Mr. Reitz declined to say whether the idea for the improvement of highway traffic now routed around the triangular, intricate intersection, includes a plan for a bypass for Route 15.

The need for solving both problems was emphasized in 1950 by the Pennsylvanian Highway Planning Commission. The body called the Hepburn-Market-Rural intersection a “serious bottleneck” and advocated a “complete separation” of Hepburn Street and a direct connection between Washington Boulevard and High Street.

“This project is of major importance,” the report continued, “despite its shortness.”

The commission at the same time made a strong recommendation for a Route 15 bypass.

Compiled by Lou Hunsinger Jr.

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