Beam delivery may delay traffic in Allentown

Author: , Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published: Jun 10 2013 09:08:47 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 10 2013 06:45:45 PM EDT
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

There's a chance your morning commute may be tied up by some massive beams this week.

Fourteen big beams are being delivered to the site of the $8 million 15th Street bridge rehabilitation project in Allentown.

Four of the beams made their way through the streets of Allentown around 10 a.m. Monday. Each weighs more than 120 tons and measures 160 feet long.

People said they like seeing the beams because it means progress. For two years, they said they've been waiting for the 15th Street bridge to reopen.

"It's been a difficult time getting around town," said Mary Crusius, of Allentown.

Escorted by police, the concrete beams came down 15th Street, and then the trucks hauling them parked in the lot of the recycling center.

"You start to see what the bridge itself is going to look like," said Richard Young, the city's director of public works. "Still a lot of work that needs to be done after these are in place, but you are starting to see it take shape."

Some people watched as the roads in the city were closed temporarily.

"Very exciting," said Crusius.

Even though the drivers were slowed a bit because of the rain, the project is still running on time.

"The current schedule is right around Christmas of this year to have it open," added Young.

Construction crews will be working fast. The four beams that were delivered Monday morning will be put in place starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, just before three more beams are delivered around 10 a.m.

The beams should all be delivered by Thursday, but officials said any delays could extend that to Friday.

In the meantime, there will be no parking on the west side of 15th Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, officials said.