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Dormant quarries could see new industry

A vacant quarry/brownfi eld site behind Capitol Auto Parts in East Bangor offers potential for rede- velopment as Valley Industrial Properties – also known as Coplay Aggregates – is looking to buy the site to build an industrial property. - (Photo / Brian Pedersen)

Do long-dormant quarries in the Lehigh Valley have potential for bringing back manufacturing and industrial jobs and economic growth to blighted, vacant properties?

Do long-dormant quarries in the Lehigh Valley have potential for bringing back manufacturing and industrial jobs and economic growth to blighted, vacant properties?

They could if one construction company has its way.

A Lehigh County company is looking to build industrial lots on a quarry it owns in Whitehall Township and another two it wants to acquire in the Bangor area – in addition to developing nearby property in the Slate Belt.

Would-be developer Coplay Aggregates wants to develop an industrial park on a quarry it owns in Whitehall and has been filling in with debris for years. In the Slate Belt, the Whitehall-based company wants to do a similar project.

Both projects could be years in the making. Whitehall’s government opposes Coplay Aggregates’ plan to start using “regulated fill,” which includes debris from construction and development affected by a spill or release. And in the Slate Belt, filling the quarries could take five to seven years.

The developments, though, have the potential to create hundreds of jobs and put to use long-dormant industrial properties. Coplay Aggregates officials declined to comment on the projects.

Northampton County Councilman Scott Parsons said the Bangor-East Bangor projects could offer manufacturing or office growth.

“All of these communities have turned into bedroom communities,” he said. “We need jobs; we need to reclaim some of these properties.”

Parsons specifically noted the importance of manufacturing opportunities.

“Everybody is looking for the same thing, good-paying jobs,” he said. “… This is what we are hoping for. There are a lot of good workers up in this area looking for work.”

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. 4108.

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