The city of Allentown is being awarded a $750,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the rehabilitation of Bogert’s Bridge in Lehigh Parkway.
Built in 1841-42, Bogert’s Bridge is among the oldest of its kind and the only remaining covered bridge in Allentown. It was constructed by Solomon Butz, who was a great-grandfather of Lee Butz, chairman of the board of Allentown-based Alvin H. Butz, Inc.
Over the years, the bridge has survived fire and floods and a bad truck accident in the late 1940s. It has been the property of the city since 1964 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The bridge’s key systems are in dire need of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The total project cost is estimated at just more than $2 million. It includes $1.65 million for rehabilitation construction, nearly $200,000 for design and more than $150,000 for administration and inspection.
The project includes repairs to the bridge railing system, approach roadway, timber deck, the superstructure, top and bottom chords, verticals, arches and the roof system.
The city previously received an $80,000 grant for the project from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission in 2018.
According to the state, “The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.”
The grant announcement was made jointly by Senator Pat Browne and Representatives Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer who all secured the funding.