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Bethlehem Works

Since the development of Bethlehem Works in 1996, plans have been underway for the redevelopment of the land owned by Bethlehem Steel, once highly involved in the industrial revolution. Historically significant buildings as well as new architecture will be utilized in order to retain the character of Bethlehem Steel. The plan involves adapting old buildings on the Bethlehem Steel site for new uses. This will allow the historical context of the buildings in the areas to remain. New buildings will also be developed in order to accommodate projects which could not be suitably placed in existing buildings.

There are various projects underway for the Bethlehem Works project. The Discovery Center of Science and Technology is already in existence. This project, which attracted over 100,000 visitors during its first year, is a hands-on learning center. Plans for further development of Bethlehem Works are underway. The National Museum of Industrial History, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute, will allow visitors to become acquainted with industrial artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Iron and Steel Showcase will feature a simulation of the steelmaking process. Recreational and entertainment uses will include the opening of a multiplex cinema, a family fun center, a natatorium, and an ice skating center. Retail stores, restaurants, and two hotels will also be located on the site.

Environmental plans are also underway to clean up the Bethlehem Steel site. This will be done through the combination of treatment, soil excavation, and engineering controls. Various sites were inspected including sites which would cause potential harm either to the environment or to people. Some of these sites included chemical storage areas, storage tanks, waste handling areas, and painting areas. These areas will be be thoroughly addressed during the cleanup of the site. Soil samples were also taken in 200 locations to identify sites of potential concern where volatile substances could migrate from the soil to groundwater. According to the soil samples which were taken, there were only a few sites which would need remediation. Eleven groundwater monitoring wells were also installed. These were utilized to evaluate the quality of groundwater as well as possible impacts on the Lehigh River. On May 6, 1999, all soil and groundwater remediation projects on the site were approved by both USEPA and PADEP (Bethlehem Works).


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