The Train of Lehigh Parkway, also The Train of Union Terrace and The Junkyard Train. It has played a role in several City plans. It's former railbed would be incorporated into the Trail Network Plan, and the AEDC received a grant to perhaps reinstate the rail line. Both these projects have been covered here at molovinsky on allentown. Today we are told that construction of the 15th Street Bridge replacement will be delayed because of arsenic found by the former railbed. Arsenic, and other pesticides were previously used to make railroad ties. This also is no secret. We are a city which can work with the state government to fast track development for political and private benefit, but are content to have the entire southside isolated. When construction finally does begin, it was suppose to start last November, the bridge will be closed in both directions for over a year. Schreiber's Bridge, the 184 year old stone structure a quarter mile west, has been taking a pounding.* In 1957 the 15th Street Bridge opened, finally providing a good connection between South Allentown and the remainder of the city. Because Pennsylvania was considering it's replacement, Community Development Director Pawlowski, under Afflerbach, didn't have it's metal beam structure painted. Because Mayor Pawlowski has been consumed with Transforming Allentown, no haste has been applied to the bridge project. While the politicians and press lament about the Hole at 8th and Hamilton, I'm concerned about the quality of life issues; That bridge is one of them.
*This blog has noted the on going damage to Schreiber's Bridge from heavy use with just one lane of 15th Street Bridge currently closed. This blogger personally informed Mayor Pawlowski of the damage.