Federal and local officials visit Allentown as grant brings major economic development project closer to reality | Regional News from Lehigh Valley


ALLENTOWN, PA – The waterfront portion of the Lehigh River is about to transform.

It took years to get here, but a group that gathered near the property on Friday said it would all be worth it.

“It will be an incredible project,” begins US Under Secretary for Transport Polly Trottenberg.

Trottenberg was there, along with other government and local officials, to tour the three-and-a-half-mile stretch of railroad that will complete the D&L Trail here in the Lehigh Valley. The trail is 165 miles, following the Delaware and Lehigh rivers.

The idea of ​​having a waterfront project here was just an idea for years – but now, thanks to the persistence of local leaders and developers and a brand new grant of $ 21 million. government, this project is on the verge of becoming a reality.

“I hope you are very proud of yourself,” Trottenberg told the crowd. “It’s a great project and you have competed with a lot of other projects across the country. There is a lot of fierce competition for RAISE funds, and we are delighted to be partnering with you. “

Officials say it is the largest public-private partnership to date in the region, totaling more than $ 55 million when completed.

Trottenberg says, this is the kind of project America needs, and it is right here in Lehigh Valley.

“There is so much community, vision, partnership. This is the kind of project we’re looking for, which is multimodal, that will connect people to jobs, opportunities and leisure, ”she says.

Now the work begins.

Leaders are saying, get ready for a transformation that you will start to see in a year.

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