Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Press photos by Scott M. NagyThe Coplay-Northampton Bridge construction is back on schedule after a slow start. Press photos by Scott M. NagyThe Coplay-Northampton Bridge construction is back on schedule after a slow start.
The work on the support piers under the bridge is expected to take most of the year. The work on the support piers under the bridge is expected to take most of the year.

Making progress

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Coplay-Northampton Bridge project is back on track after early work delay

With May approaching, the construction of the new state-of-the-art Coplay-Northampton Bridge will enter its second year.

A bumpy start in 2017 had the project, anticipated to begin last April, delayed for several weeks. Rick Molchany, director of general services and Lehigh County’s point man for major projects such as the Hokendauqua-North Catasauqua Bridge, was optimistic that the project is back on track and moving forward.

“The time we lost earlier was made up by a winter that had the contractor making up ground,” said Molchany, stating that there were no major snowfalls hampering the work.

The project is still on the three-year schedule before anticipated completion.

“Trumbull Corporation is doing a fine job,” Molchany said of the quality of work and the communication between the county and the Pittsburgh-based company.

He added he is “very pleased.”

Molchany said he has not run into some of the issues that beset the Hokendauqua-North Catasauqua Bridge project thus far. He said the $33.5 million figure, which includes engineering, right of way and construction numbers, has not exceeded contract costs.

Most of the work this year will involve construction of the piers and related projects. Molchany said the concrete decking should arrive early in 2019 or even before this year ends.

Vehicle traffic has been rerouted via the Northampton-Cementon and Hokendauqua-North Catasauqua bridges.

The earlier bridge — demolished at the start of the new construction project — was dedicated Aug. 15, 1931, with a grand celebration. Before the 1930s span, a wooden bridge crossed the Lehigh River.