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Lehigh Valley transportation projects receive funding, including for bridge repair

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From left: Bethlehem chief of engineering Matt Dorner, Bethlehem director of planning and zoning Darlene Heller, state Department of Transportation District 5-0 executive Michael Rebert, PennDOT planning specialist supervisor Raymond Green and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission executive director Becky Bradley.
From left: Bethlehem chief of engineering Matt Dorner, Bethlehem director of planning and zoning Darlene Heller, state Department of Transportation District 5-0 executive Michael Rebert, PennDOT planning specialist supervisor Raymond Green and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission executive director Becky Bradley.

The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study has announced $1.32 million in grants from the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program.

The grants were awarded to five projects out of 15 that were part of more than $10 million worth of applications.

According to the release, grants approved for projects include:

• $500,000 for Bethlehem’s Corridor Connection Project – The project in South Bethlehem calls for improving crosswalks at three intersections, adding handicapped ramps on four streets and increasing lighting in areas frequented by pedestrians and bicyclists.

• $325,900 to rehabilitate the Geiger Covered Bridge in North Whitehall Township – The project is part of a $1.2 million project to restore the structural integrity and look of the 157-year-old covered bridge, which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Deterioration has rendered the bridge unable to handle the weight of some vehicles.

• $200,000 for Hellertown’s Main Street Pedestrian Safety Initiative – The project is part of a $1.1 million plan that will include crosswalks, light-emitting diode lighting and handicapped ramps at some of the downtown’s busiest intersections.

• $160,000 to Community Bike Works of Allentown – The project helps fund the organization’s bicycle education program, which is targeted at low-income youth, including its earn-a-bike program.

• $136,100 for the Coalition for Alternative Transportation’s bicycle safety program – The Bethlehem-based organization plans to use the money for bicycle education and promotions for 6,000 youth from kindergarten through eighth grade. The money will help fund 84 events that will include at least 30 school assemblies focusing on bicycle and helmet safety.

“Ninety percent of people right now drive to work every day alone in their cars,” said Becky Bradley, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, and LVTS secretary. “This money is designed to offset some of that by promoting bicycle and pedestrian programs.”

The TASA program grants are distributed every two years to be used for bicycle, pedestrian and transit-related projects not covered in the region’s four-year $458-million program that maintains the region’s road, bridge and transit networks.

Projects that were not awarded can apply for a statewide TASA, which has $55 million to distribute.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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