Whitehall-Coplay Press

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Coplay-Northampton Bridge work postponed till '16

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

It appears work to demolish and reconstruct the Coplay-Northampton Bridge will not begin until 2016.

Greg Molchany, Lehigh County's director of general services, told The Press, however, that design work for the replacement of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge is continuing.

"The best scenario is [that Lehigh County] go out for bids in August, getting the contract by October," Molchany said.

A notice to proceed with staging and prep work could begin sooner.

The cost for the new bridge is estimated at $20 million, which includes the design phase work and construction of the new bridge to replace the present span, which was dedicated Aug. 15, 1931.

The Coplay-Northampton Bridge will remain open to vehicle traffic until the Hokendauqua-North Catasauqua Bridge is finished. Molchany said he is confident the Coplay-Northampton Bridge will be complete within two years, unlike the Hokendauqua-North Catasauqua Bridge, which has been beset by a myriad of issues relating to construction.

In the case of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge, "an analysis of the piers and foundation is fine," Molchany said.

At present, temporary easements are being pursued for four access sites on the property of Riverview Apartments, Northampton. No taking of private property by eminent domain will occur on either side of the bridge.

Molchany said, however, the bridge closing will impact Giant Food, Sam Owens Restaurant and smaller businesses in Coplay, along with Mario's Pizza, Northampton.

The road surface on the new bridge will be wider since sidewalks will be installed on only one side of the span.