PALMER TWP., Pa. -

Officials announced Monday night that demolition begins this week on a key bridge over Route 33 in Northampton County.

The bridge project in Palmer Twp. is the next step in a $40 million project that will build a new Route 33 interchange, paving the way for new businesses to sprout along the busy corridor linking the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos.

Council chairman, David Clover, said the old bridge should be torn down in about a month.

Clover said in an effort to minimize traffic problems, the work is scheduled at night.

The cost of tearing the bridge down and rebuilding it is estimated at $5.1 million, which will be paid through state grants provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Clover said.

The bridge is scheduled for completion by early October, Clover said.

The project has been a long time coming.

Township officials have discussed the idea of an interchange and the development it would spawn for at least 20 years.