Northampton Press

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Council hears Cementon Bridge plans

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

New span will be built next to existing structure

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is keeping a close watch on the construction progress of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge, mainly because the opening of the new bridge over the Lehigh River will trigger the start of the work to erect a new Cementon Bridge.

At the April 19 council meeting, Northampton Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst said work will commence on the replacement of the deteriorating Cementon-Northampton Bridge, commonly referred to as just the Cementon Bridge, as soon as vehicle traffic is allowed over the new Coplay-Northampton Bridge.

The Coplay-Northampton Bridge construction is in its second year. Both Lehigh and Northampton counties have the jurisdiction for the Coplay-Northampton Bridge, as well as others that span the Lehigh River, such as the Hokendauqua-North Catasauqua Bridge and Pine Street Bridge.

PennDOT held an open house April 11 at Northampton Banquet & Event Center, during which plans for the Cementon Bridge were on display. Representatives were on hand to discuss the work schedule and answers questions from attendees.

“The good news is the present Cementon Bridge will remain open to vehicle traffic throughout the construction of the new bridge,” Brobst said.

The replacement bridge will be built just south of the present bridge, which connects the borough to Cementon via Route 329. The road is heavily traveled by large commercial vehicles.

There is virtually little property that is needed for the new bridge right of way, which puts real estate owners on both sides of the river — including Lafarge Cement Company — at ease.

The new bridge will not incorporate the overhead steel supports featured on the present bridge. Engineering and other work will continue for the new bridge before advertising and letting of bidded construction contracts.