The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission will receive an award of more than $21.1 million in discretionary grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant will build out the Allentown Riverside Drive Multimodal Revitalization Corridor, a 3.5-mile system of off-highway roads, pedestrian and cycling paths and transit stretching from Allentown through Whitehall Township.
The grant announcement comes from U.S Senator Bob Casey.
“Today, I am proud to say that Allentown can begin to take action on a project vital to the economic and community health of the region. Building out Riverside Drive will connect marginalized communities to the rest of the Lehigh Valley, incorporating equity into our Nation’s plans to invest in infrastructure. This project would not only improve pedestrian safety, but address pollution issues and facilitate commutes for workers. As we build back better, I will continue to advocate for resources to come to Allentown and the Lehigh Valley,” said Senator Casey.
“The City of Allentown is incredibly grateful for the efforts of Senator Casey and Representative Wild to support this transformational project," said Mayor Ray O'Connell. "This multi-modal infrastructure project will provide new opportunities to connect some of our most disadvantaged residents. The Riverside Drive Revitalization project is a significant public private partnership that will accelerate inclusive development and benefit Allentown residents for years to come.”
The RAISE grant program is the main discretionary grant program for major road, rail, transit and port projects. Riverside Drive would be a road, trail and transit route, and intersect with existing road, sidewalk, transit and trail networks at several points. The project aims to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety, address transportation sector carbon emissions and localized air pollution and facilitate access to both jobs and outdoor recreation for communities of color and low-income neighborhoods in Allentown.