$57M in road, bridge renovations planned for region

By - Last modified: April 4, 2014 at 8:28 AM

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced $57 million in highway and bridge improvement projects to the Greater Lehigh Valley.

"All of these projects would not have been feasible or move as quickly without Act 89 funding," said Ron Young, spokesman for PennDOT.

Act 89, signed into law in November, provides transportation funding by removing the artificial cap on the oil company franchise tax in thirds over five years – with some of the increase passed on by oil companies to motorists. Act 89 funding also will derive from increasing fees for state drivers' licenses, vehicle registration renewals, photo IDs and record requests, Young said.

Most, if not all, of the projects are fully funded by Act 89, and the majority of surface road work improvements will be completed this year, Young said.

According to PennDOT, Act 89 will increase transportation funding by $2.3 billion annually.

This year, PennDOT cited more than $600 million of at least $2.1 billion in construction projects funded by Act 89. Also, the funding allows for more than 100 state- and locally owned bridges to have their weight restrictions removed.

PennDOT outlined about 30 transportation projects spanning Northampton, Monroe, Schuylkill, Carbon, Lehigh and Berks counties that will benefit from Act 89 funding.

These projects include:

BERKS

• $10.4 million for an intersection improvement project for Route 61 and Tuckerton Road in Muhlenberg Township.

• $13 million for a bridge rehab project for Buttonwood Street Bridge over Schuylkill River, Route 422 and Norfolk Southern Rail Road in Reading.

• $3.2 million in surface improvements for Route 501 in Bethel, Tulpehocken and Marion townships.

LEHIGH

• $3.8 million to replace the Second Street Bridge over Spring Creek in Whitehall Township.

• $3.4 million for surface improvements to Route 222 in South Whitehall, Lower Macungie and Upper Macungie townships.

NORTHAMPTON

• $1.3 million in surface improvements for Route 512 in Allen, East Allen and Moore townships and Bath.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it. Brian also has a strong interest in health and fitness. He works part-time as a personal trainer at Steel Fitness Riverport in Bethlehem and earned his personal fitness trainer certification from World Instructor Training Schools. He loves to run and will be competing in his first half-marathon on Nov. 23 to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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