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The Lehigh Valley received $4.1 million from the state for infrastructure upgrades

Seven projects in the Lehigh Valley were among the 64 awarded by the state to improve non-car-related transportation options and enhance mobility and public accessibility across the state, Gov.Tom Wolf’s administration and PennDOT announced Wednesday.

In total administration awarded $54.1 million through the Surface Transportation Block Grant program Set-Aside or Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside. A sizeable chunk of the funds awarded came from those allocated by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Before the law was passed just $18 million was available through this grant program.

Of this money, about $4.1 million went to projects in the Lehigh Valley. Here are the awardees and the projects these funds will be used for:

  • The City of Allentown received $1.3 million to rehabilitate Bogert’s Bridge. The rehabilitation will include fully disassembling and reassembling the bridge to correct sag and lean in the structure, replacing the roof system, replacing the timber siding, fumigating existing timber for reuse and applying fire-retardant treatment. Retrofits installed in 1964 will also be removed along with some other replacements and additions to the bridge.

  • Borough of Coopersburg received $1 million for traffic, pedestrian and bicycling improvements to South Main Street. Work will include two pedestrian crosswalk intersections as well as additions of curbs, sidewalks and improvements consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pedestrian lighting, parallel parking designation and bicycling sharrows will also be added using these funds.

  • Borough of Slatington received $400,000 to restore and repair the 100 Steps and improve stormwater drainage next to the steps.

  • South Whitehall Township received $1 million to extend the Jordan Creek Greenway one mile from the end of the existing trail at Wehr Mill Road to Lapp Road within Covered Bridge Park. The project also includes a shared-use path, landscape plantings, wayfinding signage, pedestrian intersection and upgrades consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Whitehall Township received $320,000 to expand the Ironton Rail Trail trailhead parking area from 36 to 72 spaces as well as pave the expanded parking area and construct stormwater management improvements including a rain garden.

  • North Whitehall Township received $70,000 to improve safety at an Ironton Rail-Trail crosswalk by adding pavement markers to alert drivers of trail-user crossing and to improve visibility by adding two rectangular rapid flashing beacons on both sides of the crosswalk.

  • Lafayette College received $710,000 to install traffic-calming devices like curb bump-outs and marked crosswalks. Funds will also be used to add light fixtures, bicycle racks, benches, landscaping and street trees.

The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program provides funding for projects and activities the state defines as transportation alternatives, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects that improve non-driver access to public transportation and environmental mitigation trails that serve a transportation purpose as well as safe routes to school projects.

The applications were reviewed, and selections made based on criteria that included safety benefits, the reasonableness of cost, readiness for implementation, statewide or regional significance, integration of land use, transportation decision making and collaboration with stakeholders.

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