Bethlehem Press

Saturday, November 18, 2017
“You could have had a child and that child would be in first or second grade in the time it took to plan, design and get this project completed,”Michael Alkhal jokes. “You could have had a child and that child would be in first or second grade in the time it took to plan, design and get this project completed,”Michael Alkhal jokes.
Mayor Bob Donchez speaks about the process of building the bridge, accompanied by Director of Public Works Michael Alkhal. Mayor Bob Donchez speaks about the process of building the bridge, accompanied by Director of Public Works Michael Alkhal.
press photos by katya hrichakMichael Waldron cuts the ribbon and officially reopens the High Street Bridge in Hellertown. press photos by katya hrichakMichael Waldron cuts the ribbon and officially reopens the High Street Bridge in Hellertown.
DSC04864: The High Street Bridge reopened approximately two weeks prior to the dedication ceremony, after having been closed since June of 2011. DSC04864: The High Street Bridge reopened approximately two weeks prior to the dedication ceremony, after having been closed since June of 2011.

‘Preserv[ing] the connection’

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 by Katya HrichaK Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

After six years of being closed, the High Street Bridge was dedicated in a reopening ceremony Sept. 25.

“As many of you know, this bridge used to be a single-lane wooden bridge that was owned and maintained by Norfolk Southern. Quite honestly, we’ve had issues with the bridge for at least the past 20 years in terms of deficiencies, and a couple of times it was closed,” said Michael Alkhal, city director of public works.

When Norfolk Southern proposed to fill in the area, rather than repair the bridge, the city of Bethlehem fought to replace it. With the help of PennDoT, design engineers T&M, TPD Construction and Grace Industry, the bridge reopened two weeks ago.

“This project, the High Street and Seidersville Road project, is an important link between the city [of Bethlehem] and the Borough of Hellertown,” Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez said. “This bridge project preserves this connection while also providing space for a future expansion of the Greenway Trails between South Bethlehem and the Borough of Hellertown, which is very important to us.”

According to Mayor Donchez, two more bridge openings will follow over the next few months, including the Lynn Avenue Bridge on Fourth Street, as well as the Fahy Bridge.