As Lehigh County celebrated it's 200th Anniversary yesterday at Agricultural Hall, it's real commitment to history will be tested this coming Wednesday evening. County Executive Don Cunningham, and his director of destruction, Glenn Solt, have already failed the test. The issue is the Reading Road Bridge, built in 1824, and rebuilt in 1980, when a pedestrian bridge was added. Glenn Solt recently told a Morning Call reporter that the bridge is filled inside with debris and junk. Two years ago, when I started the campaign to save the bridge, he told blogger Bernie O'Hare that the bridge was filled with crap. Although conceding it's structurally sound, he's speculates that a storm in a few years could destroy it, and he already has approved plans and funds to replace it now, ready to go. Solt also points out that the bridge was never officially designated historic. Considering that the bridge is 188 years old, survived hurricane Diane in 1955, I believe it has more chance of getting hit by a meteorite than failing in a rain storm. Preeminent local historian Frank Whelan signed copies of his book at yesterday's event. The book contains old photographs of many Lehigh County structures which no longer exist. Let us hope that Wednesday evening the County Commissioners save our bridge.
Cunningham photo by The Morning Call/March 10,2012/Donna Fisher