The state Department of Transportation is set to begin a project that will include the installation of a protective fence along an Allentown bridge where numerous people have jumped to their deaths.
DOT officials said the $18.5 million rehabilitation of the Eighth Street Bridge is expected to begin Monday.
The project will include the installation of a protective fence that many in the community have been lobbying for, in hopes that it will save lives.
The fence is just one component of a large project that it expected to take more than two years to complete.
Work includes replacing the bridge deck, repairing bridge piers, reconstructing the roadway approaches, installing new ornamental lighting, curbing, sidewalk, pavement markings and signs.
Officials said the project will affect traffic flow to the nearly 17,000 vehicles that use the bridge each day.
Northbound traffic will be maintained on a single lane across the bridge, but southbound traffic will be detoured onto Union and Lehigh streets. To accommodate the detour, the City of Allentown will temporarily implement a two-way traffic pattern on Union Street between Seventh and Eighth streets for the duration of the project (this section of Union Street is currently one way westbound), officials said.
Pedestrian access will be maintained with one of the two sidewalks remaining open during construction.