In promoting the benefits of infrastructure investment, we often proclaim that it will encourage economic development and create jobs. Rarely do we come across as good an example of that than the FedEx Ground “megahub” near Lehigh Valley International Airport that is to be completed in late 2018.
At an annual forum hosted by the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, FedEx executive Stephanie Cohen acknowledged that a $458 million investment of federal funds went a long way toward FedEx’s decision to locate its operation there. The money will be invested in high priority infrastructure projects over the next four years in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
The result: 600 new jobs to help move 45,000 packages through the facility per hour. The megahub project will undoubtedly spur additional development and create even more jobs.
Panelist Becky Bradley, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, said her organization backed the project because it is surrounded by infrastructure in an industrial zone to support it.
Transportation Issue Update
- Is there a connection between sound infrastructure and economic development? Just ask FedEx.
- Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and SEPTA are collaborating on a long-term development plan for the area surrounding Philly’s 30th Street Station.
- Construction crews are making better-than-expected progress on the Capital Region’s U.S. 11 and 15 rock stabilization project. The road may be reopened by the end of this month.
- The $28.5 million Route 119 realignment project in Indiana County will provide safety and mobility improvements.
- Pennsylvania’s Public Private Partnership Board approved a Turnpike fiber optic project that will accommodate “smart cars” that are able to interact with one another.