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Another star for Bethlehem despite the wishes of some

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 26 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 27 2012 05:36:58 PM CDT

Another star for Bethlehem despite the wishes of some

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Bethlehem's Main Street tenants are used to the noise during all the summer festivals.

Now they're going to have deal with even more noise courtesy of a new construction project at Main and Market Streets.

The project is expected to last 6 to 8 weeks.

In the end there will be another historic piece of art for residents and tourist to see.

If you come to Main Street in Bethlehem, get ready to hear a lot of heavy machinery.

"We're going to be putting in a granite Bethlehem star," said Samantha Schwartz, manager of the chamber downtown Bethlehem association. "Which is going to be enriching our history which we are very excited about."

The granite star will sit at the intersection of Main and Market streets.

Workers will also be replacing a 100 year old water main, and making the sidewalks Americans with Disabilities Act compliant in the process. 

"This is all private dollars, private funding project." added Schwartz. "So city of Bethlehem there is no tax dollars being spent here, just a local business looking to enrich our history."

It's also the reason why part of the street is closed between W. Walnut and Market.

"It definitely affects us as you can hear sometimes people don't even want to sit inside because of the noise," said Cara Capobianco, manager of Tapas on Main.

The outdoor seating at Tapas on Main are empty, and other business owners say they have already seen a drop in sales on the first day of the project.

"The upside is obvious," said Capobianco. "It looks beautiful, it's safer, our sidewalk originally was very treacherous and people were falling. So sidewalk is beautiful now it looks great."

Business owners say they also will be relying on the Downtown Business Association for help.

"We are calling it the we dig Main Street project," said Schwartz. "We are going to try and do a lot of specials and promotions around that."

Right after Labor day customers can get a punch card and if they support a business in the construction zone 5 or more times they'll be entered in a contest for a trip or cruise.