Mar 18, 2012
Barbarians At The Bridge
Although both Cunningham and Pawlowski hosted celebrations of our regional birthdays this year, neither cares about our history, nor do their minions. Glenn Solt, Lehigh County's project manager, and supposedly aspiring County Executive, seems contemptuous of our history. He repeatedly claimed that the 188 year old Reading Road Bridge is neither historic or unique. He states that there were 14 such bridges in the county when he began his watch. Unfortunately, for our history, this is the only one that this blog has concerned itself with. When the effort to preserve the bridge began, Cunningham said that if the community wanted to keep the bridge, the plans could be modified; But, by this past Wednesday, Solt was putting on a full court press for a new bridge. Perhaps, he sees the aggressive bridge replacement program as an accomplishment for a future political campaign. Downstream, Schreibers Bridge is now being jeopardized by Pawlowski. Because Allentown allowed the beams on the 15th Street Bridge to rust away from lack of paint, the northbound traffic now uses Schreibers, another stone arch bridge, also 188 years old. Car and trucks now line up for a block to cross the historic bridge. Three weeks ago, I personally informed Pawlowski that an outside stone on the northwest approach had come off, and others were being stressed. When the 15th Street Bridge is closed this summer for replacement, the traffic flow on Schreibers will be overbearing. History is more than blowing out a candle at Agriculture Hall, or hosting a dinner at the Holiday Inn.
The old postcard shows Schreibers Mill from the east. Although the mill has been gone since the beginning of the 20th Century, the bridge in background is still serving Allentown.