LVPC seeking public comment for $4.39 billion long-range transportation plan
- Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is seeking public comment on its 25-year, $4.39 billion Long-Range Transportation Plan
- Public meetings and online review for the plan to provide comment will occur until Oct. 6
- Projects listed include various improvements to bridges, highways, trails and public transit based on projected funding to the region over
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is seeking public comment on its $4 billion Long-Range Transportation Plan.
The commission has scheduled several meetings to inform the public about the plan. Comment will be accepted through Oct. 6.
The plan will be up for approval by the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study on Oct. 18 before it heads to the Federal Highway Administration for review.
If approved, the plan would take effect in 2024.
Anticipated improvements include highway work on major corridors such as Routes 22, 309, 33 and 100; bridge improvements; and smaller "community projects" such as trail projects, streetscape renewals and traffic safety enhancements.Lehigh Valley Planning Commission data
The plan calls for an investment of $4.39 billion over the next 25 years on nearly 500 road, bridge, trail, transit and community projects in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
The plan includes short range (2024-28), mid-range (2029-36) and long-range (2037-50) projects in various improvement categories, including roadway work, modernization, improving routes to schools and public transit.
Projected funding increases
The planning commission said the funding is a 70% increase over the money projected for the Lehigh Valley when the LRTP was last updated in 2019 as the transportation part of the commission's FutureLV Regional Plan.
It said the increase can be attributed to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's passage in 2021 and the Lehigh Valley's status as one of Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing regions.
In the plan, regional funding is supplemented by nearly $1 billion in state and federal grant funding specifically targeted at the interstate system, bringing the total money projected to flow into the Lehigh Valley to $5,363,463,276 by 2050.
Anticipated improvements include highway work on major corridors such as Routes 22, 309, 33 and 100; bridge improvements; and smaller "community projects" such as trail projects, streetscape renewals and traffic safety enhancements.
Also, $1.2 billion is directed to fund operation of the Lehigh-Northampton Transportation Authority transit service.
Despite the funding boost, the planning commission acknowledges about $2.3 billion in additional funding that would be needed for "unmet needs."
There are several ways to review and comment on the plan, according to the LVPC.
The plan, including an interactive map of every project is available online at lvpc.org/transportation-plans.
Public comment can be left in a form on the website.
Also, documents related to the project can be reviewed during business hours at:
- LVPC offices, 961 Marcon Blvd., Allentown
- PennDOT District 5 office, 1002 Hamilton St., Allentown
- Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton St., Allentown
- Bethlehem Area Public Library, 11 W. Church St, Bethlehem
- Easton Area Public Library, 515 Church St., Easton
- LANTA offices, 1060 Lehigh St., Allentown
Scheduled public meetings include:
- 3:30 p.m. Sept. 7 — Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee Hybrid Meeting, at LVPC offices, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310 Allentown
- Noon Sept 18 — Municipal partners hybrid meeting at the LVPC Offices and online.
- 9 a.m. Sept. 20 — Lehigh Valley Transportation Study Virtual monthly meeting, available online
- 7 p.m. Sept. 26 — In-person public meeting at the Fowler Center, 511 E. Third St., Bethlehem
- 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 — Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s monthly virtual Transportation Committee meeting, available online.
Building a region-wide plan
A public engagement process including all 62 municipalities involving various levels of stakeholders took place across the Lehigh Valley to build the plan, according to the LVPC.
Lehigh Valley Transportation Study, consisting of LVPC staff cooperating with PennDOT and LANTA, set priorities on what projects made the list.
The process scored datasets measuring "everything from safety to congestion to environmental impact to cost to whether the projects would be in underserved or disadvantaged communities."
The initiative is a federally required plan that acts as a roadmap for how the region will maintain and improve its transportation network, based primarily on the federal and state transportation funding that’s projected to flow into the Lehigh Valley through 2050.
It does not act as a budget for municipalities or future projects.