Tuesday, April 3, 2018

PennDOT plans $360M of road work in six-county region

Replacement of the Route 22 Lehigh Valley Bridge and reconstruction of the Fullerton exit is one of the most expensive projects in the Lehigh Valley. (HARRY FISHER / THE MORNING CALL)

Tom Shortell reports for The Morning Call:

As the winter weather gives way — one would hope — to spring, road crews across the extended Lehigh Valley region expect to tackle 115 PennDOT projects this year.

Many of these will sound familiar, especially the big ones: revamping the Route 22 Fullerton exit and replacing the adjacent Lehigh River bridge; repaving, widening and adding auxiliary lanes to Interstate 78; and adding traffic circles to Route 222.

Some are new, others are ongoing and will continue beyond 2018. All are found within PennDOT District 5, which covers Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe and Schuylkill counties, and together they will cost $360 million to complete.

About $110 million is being spent in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

The largest project is the ongoing work on Route 22. PennDOT is in year three of a four-year, $64.9 million project. Road crews have already replaced the bridge carrying eastbound traffic over the Lehigh River, and are working on the westbound side. Michael Rebert, the district’s executive director, told reporters Monday crews should complete most of the work on the base of the westbound bridge this year, but the new deck likely won’t be poured until 2019.

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