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Parking garage, pedestrian bridge in South Bethlehem get $1.5M state grant

By , - Last modified: December 29, 2017 at 9:17 AM
Businesses and organizations such as the National Museum of Industrial History would benefit from the planned Polk Street Garage at Third and Polk streets.
Businesses and organizations such as the National Museum of Industrial History would benefit from the planned Polk Street Garage at Third and Polk streets. - (Photo / )

Parking and pedestrian safety projects in South Bethlehem will get a $1.5 million state grant, Gov. Tom Wolf announced.

The planned 585-space Polk Street Garage will get $1 million and Northampton Community College will get $500,000 to build a pedestrian bridge from the Fowler Family Southside Center to the Polk Street Garage at Third and Polk streets.

The garage and pedestrian bridge project are estimated to cost $13 million.

In addition to NCC, the bridge serve will other businesses and organizations in the area, including the Peron Development, ArtsQuest, the National Museum of History and the Charter School for the Performing Arts. The area is targeted for future retail and residential development.

“Bethlehem is growing fast, and with that growth comes the need for vital infrastructure,” state Rep. Steve Samuelson said.

“This garage is essential to the ongoing success of our vibrant cityscape, which links retail, residential, recreation, the arts and, of course, Northampton Community College,” Samuelson said.

State Sen. Lisa Boscola said the garage will spur new development and jobs and continue to help rebuild the old Bethlehem Steel brownfield.

The grant is from the Redevelopment Assistant Capital Program, a state program to support regional economic development projects.

Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez said the new grant is in addition to a $1 million RACP grant previously awarded to the bridge project.

“This facility is critically important to the development and revitalization taking place in the Eastern corridor of Third Street on the city’s South Side,” Donchez said.

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