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$22.5 million in federal funds allocated for new bridge

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will replace the Cementon-Northampton Bridge, thanks to $22.5 million in federal funding, state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-133rd, announced May 9.

The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently allocated $22,579,651 for the replacement of the bridge. The project will replace the existing bridge with a structure that will allow more than 16,000 vehicles to safely travel across the Lehigh River.

“As the bridge is one of 47 bridges in Lehigh County designated as being in poor condition by the Federal Highway Administration, it is imperative that we improve safety conditions for drivers through projects such as the replacement of the Cementon(-Northampton) Bridge,” McNeill said.

Construction began in the spring to replace the 575-footlong bridge and build a 585-footlong bridge in its place. The bridge carries Route 329 over the Lehigh River and Canal, connecting Whitehall Township and Northampton Borough.

McNeill joined U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and PennDOT’s Acting District 5 Executive Christopher Kufro at the news conference to highlight the recent investment in the bridge.

First enacted into law in November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invested $40 billion in bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation, which marks the single-largest dedicated bridge investment since the interstate highway system’s construction.

Unlike the nearby Coplay-Northampton Bridge, which was closed for two-and-a-half years while it was rebuilt, the Cementon-Northampton Bridge will not be closed during the construction of the new one.

A new bridge will be built just to the south, after which the roadway will be moved over and the old bridge will be removed.

The project is expected to be completed in December 2027.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-133rd, and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey are joined by members of the construction crew during a news conference May 9 to announce federal funding to replace the Cementon-Northampton Bridge.