Mayor Pawlowski and other elected officials break ground on American  Parkway Bridge

Mayor Pawlowski and other elected officials break ground on American Parkway Bridge

The long-awaited link for the American Parkway came a step closer to reality last month when ground was broken on December 14th for the construction of the $46 million American Parkway Bridge crossing the Lehigh River and connecting the East Side of Allentown to the downtown.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski was joined by several elected officials including members of City Council, Congressman Charlie Dent, new State Representatives Dan McNeil and Mike Schlossberg, PennDOT representatives and members of the city’s delegation in Harrisburg at the event.

“This project has been on the drawing board for decades and I know there are many, many people who are extremely pleased that this day has finally arrived,” said Pawlowski. “There are so many people to thank, and I know I couldn’t possibly begin to name them all, but I do want to thank our federal representatives who have been promoting this project for years, including the late Senator Specter.”

The cost of construction is $32 million, and is 100% federally funded.  It will take up to two years to complete.

The American Parkway project consists of the reconstruction of the existing American Parkway from a point west of Sumner Avenue on the west side of the Lehigh River to the existing American Parkway on the east side of the river.

That will include a 260’ long bridge that crosses over the R.J. Corman Railroad line and a  will 710’ bridge that will cross the Lehigh River. The project will provide around 500 construction jobs according to New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co.,  including 125 of its own employees, 150 subcontractor employees, and approximately 150 or more that work for material suppliers and 25 or 30 truck drivers to haul the materials to the work site.

“The City of Allentown has waited a long time for this day, and the completion of the American Parkway will bring people right to the new arena and waterfront development projects when they are completed,” concluded Pawlowski.