HANOVER TWP., Pa. - U.S. Rep. Susan Wild took to the tarmac at Lehigh Valley International Airport Thursday to talk about a new $8 million grant from the Department of Transportation.

"We've got to be able to get people in and out of here, and you know, it's a nice airport, but it's a small airport, and it's been here for a long time," Wild said.

The money is being used for the ongoing, multi-year tarmac improvement. Since the grant was issued in 2021, it has a full federal match from the FAA.

"It's about not only passenger traffic but the enormous freight traffic that comes through here," Wild said.

"And it's really putting a strengthening lift on this pavement. We continue to see the uptick in traffic," said Tom Stoudt, the executive director of the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority.

Stoudt says the money will help complete the $12.6 million phase 4 portion of the tarmac. The project includes six phases. The airport hopes to have it finished in the next two to three years.

"It really depends on how much funding we're able to be successful in bringing here for the project - to complete it," Stoudt said.

The bipartisan infrastructure package currently includes around $25 billion for airports. A lot of it is still up in the air.

Wild points out the money is important for such a large employer in the region.

"Those types of funds are really being looked at to augment the airport improvement program. A lot of the things we're talking about, like our runways and making sure the infrastructure is there," Stoudt said.

"There will be very different, divergent points of view but ultimately we're going to get infrastructure done," Wild said.

With any construction, there will be delays.

There will be two shutdowns in September, one for 72 hours, from Sept. 17 to Sept. 19.

The other will be for 54 hours, from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30.

Make sure you plan accordingly.

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