COUNTY OF LEHIGH

Office of Public Information

Government Center

17 South Seventh Street

Allentown, Pennsylvania 18101-2401

Phone: 610-782-3001

Fax: 610-820-3615

 

Donald T. Cunningham, Jr., County Executive

 

 

 

 

           Linden Street Bridge Moves Closer to Completion

Highlights Lehigh County’s Commitment to Infrastructure

 

 With the arrival of seven 106-ton beams, the Linden Street Bridge project is a step closer to completion and represents a milestone in the administration of Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham.

 

“Four years ago, I stood on the Linden Street Bridge and promised that we would replace or repair the county’s crumbling bridges,” said Cunningham. “I’m proud to say that by keeping spending in check and using resources wisely, we will have replaced four bridges and repaired or begun to repair 17 more by the end of this year. That’s more than one-third of the county’s 47 bridges.”

 

The Linden Street Bridge project cost $6.5 million and is being funded through county dollars trimmed from an inherited Lehigh County Courthouse expansion. By scaling back the design and getting rid of frills, the county was able to save $20 million.

 

Cunningham then redirected those dollars into a massive program to maintain and upgrade necessary infrastructure, primarily bridges.

 

“The use of county dollars helped fast-track the $6.5 million Linden Street Bridge project, allowing us to go from engineering to completion in just two short years and seven months,” said Cunningham. “Had we waded through the red tape of PennDOT, construction would not have started until 2012 – if we were lucky. In addition, it’s doubtful a project of this magnitude would have gotten off the ground in today’s economy.”  

 

The Linden Street Bridge is a gateway to the economic renaissance of Allentown and had been used by 4,500 drivers daily. Four years ago it was lane restricted and in danger of collapse.

 

“Ensuring the safety of Lehigh Valley residents to work, home, school and other destinations is a priority of my administration,” said Cunningham. “You need only consider the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota in 2007 to appreciate the need for foresight.”

 

But this isn’t the last of the major bridge projects. Next year the Pine Street River Crossing will be repainted and engineering is underway to place the county’s two other Lehigh River crossings as well – one between Coplay and Northampton and the other on Lehigh Street between Whitehall and North Catasauqua.

 

Also, engineering will begin in January to replace the Reading Road Bridge in 2011. Engineering of the Linden Street Bridge began in June of 2007 and construction began in fall of ’08. The bridge is expected to be completely open by December.

             

    “Bridges are the only transportation infrastructure counties are responsible for,” Cunningham said. “In Lehigh County, we’re committed to taking care of ours.”

 

 

 

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