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PennDOT Invites Public to Comment on I-78 Bridge Replacement Project

by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)

May 05, 2022

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Commonwealth Court issued an order on May 18, 2022, stopping work related to the Major Bridge P3 initiative. Accordingly, PennDOT has canceled the public hearings associated with the project. They are reviewing the opinion.

Environmental Assessment, online project materials available for review with an in-person public hearing scheduled for May 19, 2022.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will host a Public Hearing and receive public comment in-person, online and by mail on an Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared for the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project in Berks County.

The I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project is a candidate for bridge tolling through the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (MBP3) Initiative, as part of the PennDOT Pathways Program. The Pathways program seeks to identify potential alternative funding solutions for transportation in the state. Under the initiative, tolls collected would be used for the replacement bridges’ construction, maintenance and operation.

There has been an update to PennDOT’s planned tolling approach for the I-78 Lenhartsville Project. Following community input and continued project analysis, PennDOT will pursue only westbound tolling at this bridge.

The in-person Public Hearing will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 19, 2022 at Kempton Community Center, 83 Community Center Dr., Kempton, PA 19529. An open house display on the project will begin at 3:30 p.m. with public testimony starting at 4:30 p.m. All materials that will be presented during the open house, including a project overview, maps, low-income tolling details, diversion route improvements and EA documents, will be available online at www.penndot.pa.gov/i78Lenhartsville from May 4 to June 3, 2022.

PennDOT and FHWA encourage the public to review and comment on the EA during this 30-day period. The EA will be available at physical locations listed at the end of this news release and online until 11:59 p.m. June 3, 2022 at www.penndot.pa.gov/i78Lenhartsville. All comments will receive equal consideration regardless of the method of submission, whether they are provided verbally in person, in writing, via email, through U.S. mail or by way of an online comment form.

The EA, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, examines the significance of potential impacts to natural, social, economic, and cultural resources from this project and alternatives under consideration. It will determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement would be prepared, or a Finding of No Significant Impacts would be issued.

The I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge, which crosses Maiden Creek in Greenwich Township, is aging and does not meet current design standards. The proposed project involves replacing the existing bridge to address the poor structural condition, and to widen it to accommodate acceleration and deceleration lanes and full inside and outside shoulders in each direction.

The public has numerous options to provide comments on this EA:

  • Testimony will be received at the in-person hearings before an audience with a stenographer. Those providing testimony are asked to register in advance at www.penndot.pa.gov/i78Lenhartsville or by calling 610-973-5193. Oral testimony will be limited to five minutes per participant and the number of slots will depend on available time.
  • Individuals may provide testimony privately in a separate hearing room with a stenographer.
  • Written comments may be brought to the in-person hearing, completed at the event and deposited in a comment box, or mailed to: PennDOT District 5, Attn: I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project, 1002 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101.
  • Comments may be emailed to [email protected].
  • The public may provide comments through the form available online at www.penndot.gov/i78Lenhartsville.
  • Comment forms will be provided at the in-person Public Hearing and at locations where the EA is available for review.

The locations where the public can review a physical copy of the EA documents are:

  • Hamburg Public Library (35 N 3rd St, Hamburg, 19526)
  • Kutztown Community Library (70 Bieber Aly, Kutztown, 19530)
  • Greenwich Township (775 Old Route 22, Lenhartsville, 19534)
  • PennDOT District 5 Office (1002 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101)
  • FHWA Pa. Division (228 Walnut Street, Room 508, Harrisburg, PA 17101)

The public hearing location is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Anyone requiring additional information or special assistance to participate in the hearing can reach out via the project email at [email protected] or hotline number, 610-973-5193, by May 13, 2022 to coordinate arrangements.

Those who would like to request translation services can reach out via the project email at [email protected] or hotline number, 610-973-5193.

Si usted desea solicitar servicios de traducción, por favor contacte al correo electrónico del Proyecto [email protected] o llame a la línea directa del proyecto 610-973-5193.

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