Jul 14, 2013

Sabotaging Our History

Glenn Solt, Director of Public Works for Lehigh County, is used to getting his way. During the Cunningham era he had quite the run at replacing bridges. First he started with the bridges that needed replacing, then he continued on to other bridges, after establishing a relationship with certain engineering firms and contractors. Shown above is the Reading Road Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1824. It was completely refurbished in 1980, with a pedestrian bridge added at that time. Although state inspectors deemed the bridge satisfactory, Solt set his sights on it anyway. It's historical aspect means absolutely nothing to him. He told a blogging associate that those old stone bridges are filled with crap on the inside. Although the County Commissioners saved the bridge by not authorizing the release of the funds for the engineering contract, Solt is trying to have the last say by denying normal maintenance to the historic structure. The bridge surface has not been sealed in years, the inside stones have not been pointed, nor has the rusting beam on the pedestrian span been painted. Lehigh Valley has a bad habit of neglecting maintenance on any structure that ever had any discussion concerning replacement. That is exactly why Allentown's 15th Street Bridge was allowed to rust away. Perhaps it's the Public Works Directors that need replacing.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So glad you wrote about this today as ever since last week's post about this concrete barrier, can't help but doubt the city that thinks nothing about 10 ton trucks driving across park grasses will care about saving and marking each of the hand laid stones that once were part of this bridge. Do you think the city saved those stones for repair?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Mistook this bridge for
Allentown's Schreiber's. Comment still stand about Allentown's management saving those stones.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to find out why the city is now parking its public works vehicles all over the Parkway's precious landscape? A huge truck now hides the recently repainted LVRR clubhouse. What an impression visitors must get as they drive into Lehigh Parkway considered even by city press releases as its crown jewel and see a huge dump truck and other trucks parked all over the place.
Perhaps the city's park director
will comment on these trucks.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:05, the union street bridge was cement, about 1940 vintage. the stone wall was a retaining wall, just west of the bridge, and supported the roadway along the southern end of the terrace park. they did save the stones, which will supposedly be used to face a new concrete retaining wall. the union street bridge is a city of allentown project.

the reading road bridge, just north of the terraces, is a county controlled bridge. none of the stones are missing. the stonework on the bridge arches themselves are in good condition, however, the stones on the inside of the bridge wall have been been neglected, as shown in the photo. also where the bridge surface meets the stone wall has not been sealed, allowing plants to grown. this permits water and freezing to seep down into the bridge arch, and sabotages the bridge. this is gross negligence, and it's time to show glenn solt the door.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:14, a future post will address your concerns. briefly, the city allowed the former park department building, across from birney crum stadium, to deteriorate from lack of replacing missing roof singles. the leaking roof cause mildew and made the building uninhabitable. now, the park department is mustering from the barn in the parkway, which was formally used only for the water shed department. again, a case of the administration being consumed with the arena, and allowing our assets to be destroyed. the city is apparently much more strict with the maintenance of private property than their own buildings.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
Thank you for all the work you do to keep readers informed. Many of your stories are often the first time such news is revealed. Might you know where the city's new fire training center is going to be placed in Lehigh Parkway? It is a concern to many as it seems new city sponsored construction may result in the cutting of trees.

Anonymous said...

MM wrote:
"a case of the administration being consumed with the arena, and allowing our assets to be destroyed. the city is apparently much more strict with the maintenance of private property than their own buildings."

Is the public works department going to permanently park its vehicles in the Parkway? Some of these trucks now cut through and over hillsides with little concern for the surface damage they are causing. Has anyone given the public works staff instruction on what not to do to park open space?

Anonymous said...

Now that city workers are meeting in the Parkway, they speed thru the park at high speed on city trucks with no regard for the safty of park users. Many show complete disregard of the speed limit.
I stopped walking there mid-afternoon. When they speed out in their personals vehicles
it is very scary to be anywhere near the road. I have never seen such total disregard for the law and for the safty of the general public.

Anonymous said...

Sabotaging Our History-
Mr. Molovinsky,
Today's Morning Call features a story about the city offering to buy some airport land for its public works department. The story also mentions the city currently rents land from the airport. If this is true, why in the world is the city parking its work vehicles in Lehigh Parkway, destroying the beauty and tranquility of this wonderful
park?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Now that city workers are meeting in the Parkway, they speed thru the park at high speed on city trucks with no regard for the safty of park users. Many show complete disregard of the speed limit.
I stopped walking there mid-afternoon. When they speed out in their personals vehicles
it is very scary to be anywhere near the road. I have never seen such total disregard for the law and for the safty of the general public.

July 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM


Not only do city workers speed in yellow city trucks but they drive across the hillsides and cut tire paths into the grass. Look around the parkway. Check out the edges of the road leading out the back way towards the airport. Check out the dirt and open earth where once there was grass in adjoining meadows.

Anonymous said...

Regarding today's Call article. First of all, no way Queen City should allow the city to maintain that rental space in the mess it currently is. Garbage, old vehicles, old light fixtures, rusted everything just lying around. A junk heap that hundreds of visitors to the beautifully renovated Mack Tourism Center pass by on a daily basis. One can only imagine the impression this city leaves with these folks. Billy Joel anyone?

Anonymous said...

Do you mean all the original Watershed employees are gone from the parkway? These people really loved the park. It was more than a job for many. they knew the trees and shrubs and where specific wildlife lived. They were outstanding.