Two projects in the city were awarded funding today through the Multimodal Transportation Fund by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). The announcement was made by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Democratic Caucus Administrator Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) and Representative Pete Schweyer (D-Lehigh), who collaborated to secure the grant.
“These grants will provide needed dollars to improve the safety of Allentown’s roads and pave the way for a key redevelopment project within the city,” Senator Browne said. “I am proud to have worked with Rep. Schlossberg and Rep. Schweyer to secure these funds, helping to create a better transportation network resulting in the continued revitalization of the City of Allentown.”
Allentown was awarded $1,300,000 which will allow Serfass Development & Acquisitions to carryout improvements along Martin Luther King (MLK) Boulevard in the City. The funding will allow for widening of the roadway shoulders and installation of pedestrian sidewalks with curbing along MLK Boulevard and 4th Street. An existing defunct rail bridge will be removed, and replaced. The proposed improvements will decrease congestion and improve traffic circulation in anticipation of the redevelopment of the current “Incinerator Site” brownfield into an industrial park.
“When we invest in our public infrastructure, we are really investing in good paying jobs and a more livable City,” Rep. Peter Schweyer said. “These funds will directly support the renewal of a long-vacant brownfield site in downtown Allentown, eventually creating family-sustaining jobs for our residents.
Allentown was also awarded $1,150,000 to upgrade traffic signals and systems along Hanover Street in the city. The funding will allow for upgrades to seven existing traffic signals along the Hanover Street corridor and provide connectivity to the city’s Central Traffic Signal System. The equipment upgrades include new traffic signal controllers, video detection systems, GPS emergency pre-emption and new traffic and pedestrian signal heads. The project will also include pedestrian safety improvements at the un-signalized intersection of Hanover Street and Linden Street.
“These projects will bring significant safety improvements to heavily traveled city streets and will better connect people to job opportunities throughout the community,” Rep. Mike Schlossberg said.
“The MLK and Hanover projects are of the size and scope that can’t be accomplished without funding from other sources,” said Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell. “The funding will pay for traffic signal upgrades at seven intersections along Hanover Street from Albert Street to Wahneta Street, which include connection to the city's central traffic control system. The MLK project includes widening the roadway shoulders and installing pedestrian sidewalks with curbing along MLK Boulevard and 4th Street. Continuing 4th Street, a new site access road with bridge and abutments will be constructed for access into an upcoming industrial site. I thank Senator Browne and Representatives Schweyer and Schlossberg for their support of these vital projects to improve motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian safety.”
Across the Commonwealth, local government budgets have struggled to accommodate the growing demands placed upon their local infrastructure. These issues have been compounded due to budgetary and operational disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CFA was established as an independent agency of the Commonwealth to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth.
The CFA awards the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Multimodal Transportation Fund grants, which aim to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the Commonwealth.