Bethlehem Township awarded millions in infrastructure loan
BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. — Bethlehem Township has gotten a state loan of more than $8 million to help prevent flooding by renovating its stormwater system.
- The commonwealth has loaned Bethlehem Township more than $8 million
- The money will be used to help prevent flooding by renovating stormwater basins through April 2024
- The period of the loan is 20 years
Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PennVest, approved the $8,022,000 loan to Bethlehem Township Municipal Authority to retrofit four stormwater basins along Freemansburg Avenue.
The municipal authority, which maintains the wastewater and stormwater systems, is expected to start the project in May and have it completed by the end of April 2024.
The loan is for a period of 20 years.
Township Manager Doug Bruce explained stormwater basins and how the project will change them.
“Usually it's a large hole in the ground that when it rains, it fills up with water," Bruce said. "And we're going to be retrofitting and renovating those basins so they hold more water for longer amounts of time and filter out more sediment so that the stormwater that does eventually drain out of them and goes to the Nancy Run and the Monocacy Creek and the Lehigh River, that stormwater will be cleaner.”
Bruce said the work is part of Phase 1 of the township’s pollution reduction plan, which is published on its website and includes 14 proposed basins.
"It's very good that we've been able to get a very low-interest loan to help us with these projects.”Doug Bruce, Bethlehem Township manager
“It's a low-interest loan from PennVEST, which is a state organization and will help us finance these projects, which tend to be very expensive," Bruce said. "These PRP plans are required, by the state, of every municipality. So it's very good that we've been able to get a very low-interest loan to help us with these projects.”