ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Pennsylvania's transportation plan -- Act 89 -- is paving the way for various road improvement projects in Berks County to begin.

PennDOT's District 5 region, which includes Berks, will receive $57 million to fund 37 projects, including several in Reading and its surrounding municipalities, officials announced Thursday.

"Act 89 funding will allow us to improve many roads, bridges and transit systems across the region." said Michael W. Rebert, the district executive. "This will include the resurfacing of dozens of roads with rough pavement in east central Pennsylvania."

The largest project planned for Berks in 2014 is the $13 million rehabilitation of the Buttonwood Street Bridge, which carries traffic across the Schuylkill River and West Shore Bypass between Reading and West Reading.

Work on the 80-year-old bridge is set to get underway in late summer or early fall. Once it does, the bridge will be closed to traffic for up to two years, officials said.

Another big project will be a $10.4 million improvement to the intersection of Route 61 and Tuckerton Road in Muhlenberg Township. A start date for that work has not yet been announced.

"It will be an exciting year in terms of improving roads and bridges with the number of new projects that will start throughout the region," Rebert said.

Other Berks County projects on PennDOT's schedule this year are:

  • Fourth Street in Hamburg: Patching, milling and paving, drainage upgrades and other miscellaneous construction ($1.5 million estimate).
  • Route 501 in Bethel, Tulpehocken and Marion townships: Resurfacing ($3.2 million estimate).

Roads set for surface improvements are:

  • Deer Run Road in District Township;
  • Bitting/Baldy/Bertolet Mill Road in District, Pike and Oley townships;
  • Conrad Road in District and Hereford townships;
  • Woodside Avenue in District and Longswamp townships and Topton;
  • Dale, Seisholtzville, Schuler and Tollgate roads in Hereford Township;
  • Centennial, Farmington, Longswamp, Mertztown and Mountain roads in Longswamp Township;
  • Lobachsville and Old Topton roads in Longswamp and Maxatawny townships;
  • Bowers and Smoketown roads in Maxatawny and Rockland townships;
  • Hill Church Road in Pike and Washington townships and Bechtelsville;
  • State Street in Topton;
  • Hilltop/Prison Road in Bern Township;
  • Church Hill Road in Alsace Township;
  • Noble Street and Route 737/Krumsville Road in Maxatawny Township and Kutztown;
  • Main Street in Kutztown;
  • State Hill Road in Spring and Lowe Heidelberg townships;
  • Route 10/Morgantown Road in Caernarvon and Cumru townships and New Morgan;
  • Route 724 in Cumru Township.