Lehigh Valley

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For other uses, see Lehigh Valley (disambiguation).
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton
Map of Lehigh Valley

Common name: Lehigh Valley
Largest city Allentown
Other cities  - Bethlehem
 - Easton
 - Phillipsburg
Population  Ranked 64th in the U.S.
 – Total 821,623 (2010 Census)[1]
 – Density 1,105/sq. mi. 
1,778/km2
Area 42 radius miles sq. mi.
1,176 km2
Country  United States
State(s)   - Pennsylvania
 - New Jersey
Elevation   
 – Highest point 2180+[2] feet (664+[2] m)
 – Lowest point 211 feet (64 m)

The Lehigh Valley (/ˈli.h ˈvæ.li/), known officially by the United States Census Bureau and the United States Office of Management and Budget[3] as the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area and referred to informally and locally as The Valley[4] is a metropolitan region officially consisting of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties in eastern Pennsylvania and Warren county on the western edge of New Jersey, in the United States.[5] The core population centers are located in southern and central Lehigh and Northampton counties along U.S. Highway 22 and Interstate 78.

The Lehigh Valley is the fastest growing and third most populous region in the state of Pennsylvania with a population of 821,623 residents as of the 2010 U.S. Census.[1][6] It is eclipsed in total population only by the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.[1] It is the 64th most populated metropolitan area in the United States. Lehigh County, the Valley's largest county in terms of overall population, is amongst the fastest growing in the nation as well, ranking in the 79th percentile for population growth between 2010-2012.[6]

The region is named for the Lehigh River, which runs through it, and it is part of the Great Appalachian Valley.

Cities and location[edit]

The skyline of Allentown, Pennsylvania, the largest city in the Lehigh Valley and third largest in all of Pennsylvania
The skyline of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley
The skyline of Easton, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley's principal cities are Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, comprising the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area. The traditional bounds of the region are The Poconos to the north, the Delaware River to the east, the boundaries of Berks County and Montgomery County to the southwest, and the boundary with Bucks County to the south. More recently, however, the area around Phillipsburg, New Jersey west of Pohatcong Mountain, parts of upper Bucks County around Quakertown, and portions of northeastern Berks County and southern Carbon and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania are considered outer parts of the Valley.

The Lehigh Valley is located approximately 60 mi (97 km) north of Philadelphia, 80 mi (130 km) northeast of Harrisburg, and 90 mi (140 km) west of New York City, the country's largest city. The area is home to more than 820,000 people as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Recent census studies show it to be the fastest growing region in Pennsylvania, due in part to its growing popularity as a bedroom community for the highly populated neighboring regions of Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York City as well as its favorable business climate and much lower cost of living in comparison to surrounding areas.[7]

The Lehigh Valley is geologically and geographically part of the Great Appalachian Valley, a region largely made up of limestone that stretches along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Lehigh Valley is so named because it is composed of an actual valley that lies between two mountain ranges, Blue Mountain to the north and South Mountain to the south. Lehigh Valley also is considered part of the historic Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Municipalities with more than 10,000 people[edit]

Municipalities with fewer than 10,000 people[edit]

Census-designated places and villages[edit]

Metropolitan and Combined Statistical Areas[edit]

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania as the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3] The three counties in the Metropolitan area are Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton. As of the 2010 United States Census the Metro area had a population of 821,173. The Lehigh Valley ranks as the third most populous metropolitan areas in the state of Pennsylvania and ranks 68th most populous in the United States.

The United States Office of Management and Budget also has designated the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania as part of the larger New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.[3] The larger combined area consists of the Lehigh Valley counties of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton as well as Pike County and the Monroe County/East Stroudsburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Areas in Pennsylvania, and several other Metro areas from the States of New Jersey and New York. As of the 2010 US Census, the population of the CSA was 23,076,664, making it the most populous Combined Statistical Area in the United States.

Climate[edit]

The Lehigh Valley has four distinct seasons, which typically include humid summers, cold winters, and very short and mild springs and falls.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1980 551,022
1990 595,081 8.0%
2000 740,395 24.4%
2010 821,623 11.0%

At the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Lehigh Valley had a population of 808,210.[10] 87.1% of the population were White American, 4.6% were Black or African American, 0.1% were American Indian, 2.3% were Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1%, 4.3% were of some other race, and 1.5% belonged to two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 11.3% of the population.

The Lehigh Valley has seen an influx of residents coming from New Jersey and New York to take advantage of the reduced cost of living. The population of the area is expected to increase by 227,000 people by 2040.[11]

Economy[edit]

The most common industries for residents in are area include educational services, construction and health care as of 2009.[12] The Lehigh Valley was recognized by business publication Site Selection Magazine in March 2014 as being the second-best performing region of its size for economic development in the entire United States.[13]

History[edit]

Main entrance to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, 1950
Bethlehem Steel, located along the Lehigh River and founded in 1857, was once the second-largest manufacturer of steel in the United States; its former location has been transformed into the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

The Lehigh Valley is known historically for its production of steel, Portland cement and apparel. It had served as a major U.S. center of industrial manufacturing since the 1800s but this role had diminished significantly in the late 20th century and early 21st century as companies moved to offshore locations for these activities.

Once a formidable industrial and manufacturing powerhouse serving the entire United States, the nationwide decline of this industry in the late 20th century and early 2000s led the Lehigh Valley to shift its economic focus more towards financial services, health care, life sciences and technology as well as becoming a distribution hub for some of the largest U.S. markets due to its comparatively low cost of living and proximity to some of the nation's largest metropolitan areas.[14]

Largest employers[edit]

After the demise of Bethlehem Steel, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network (in Allentown), one of Pennsylvania's largest hospital systems, replaced it as the Lehigh Valley's largest employer. As of 2014, the Lehigh Valley's top ten employers are: 1.) Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, 2.) St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, 3.) Air Products & Chemicals, 4.) PPL Corporation, 5.) Giant-Carlisle, 6.) PPL, 7.) Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, 8.) Sodexo, 9.) B. Braun Medical, 10.) Amazon.com[15]

Business and economic demographics[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is centrally located in the Northeast Megalopolis with ease of access and close proximity to several of the largest markets, population centers, airports, terminals, railways and seaports in the United States including both the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. The Lehigh Valley is also situated within a one day drive to more than one third of the total population of the United States and more than one half of the total population of Canada.[16][17]

The Lehigh Valley has a lower cost of living, more affordable real estate, lower taxes and a more affordable labor pool than most other Northeastern US regions.[12] These attributes and others, such as sizable investments in business development and a friendlier regulatory environment, provide the area with an attractive business climate in comparison to surrounding states and areas.[7][17][18][19][20]

Due in large part to the aforementioned comparably favorable business climate, the Lehigh Valley has experienced success in luring large, established businesses as well as new startup companies from nearby states such as New York and New Jersey, bringing with them upwards of thousands of new jobs to the area.[7][21] Large companies such as Amazon.com have praised the region for its commitment to business investments and incentives, citing them as a major reason for continuing expansions and increased hiring in the Lehigh Valley.[22][23]

Further reaffirming this advantageous business and economic environment, the Lehigh Valley was recognized by business publication Site Selection Magazine in March 2014 as being the second-best performing region of its size for economic development in the United States.[13]

Large national and international companies based in the Lehigh Valley include LSI Corporation (in Allentown), Avantor Performance Materials (Center Valley), Air Products & Chemicals (in Trexlertown), Bethlehem Steel (which ceased operations in 2003, in Bethlehem), Crayola LLC (in Easton), Buckeye Partners (in Emmaus), Heidelberg Cement (in Fogelsville), Just Born (in Bethlehem), Lutron Electronics (in Coopersburg), Mack Trucks (in Allentown), Olympus Corporation USA (in Center Valley), OraSure Technologies (in Behlehem), PPL Corporation (in Allentown), Rodale Press (in Emmaus), Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Dun & Bradstreet (in Center Valley), Synchronoss Technologies (Bethlehem), Victaulic (in Easton), and many others.

The Lehigh Valley is also one of the largest areas on the East Coast for the location of warehouses and distribution centers. Companies that own and operate warehouses and distribution centers in the Lehigh Valley include Amazon.com, B. Braun, Boston Beer Company (brewer of Samuel Adams brand beer), BMW, Bridgestone, FedEx SmartPost, Home Depot, J. C. Penney, Nestle Purina, ShopRite, The Coca-Cola Company, True Value, Uline and many others. Most of these distribution centers are located along the U.S. Route 22, Interstate 78 and Interstate 476 corridors.

The Boston Beer Company operates its largest production brewery facility in the Lehigh Valley (in Breinigsville), which produces more than 2/3rds of all Samuel Adams beer in the world. The company continues to upgrade and expand operations at this facility and has cited the location as central to the company's success.[24]

Due to Pennsylvania's lack of an excise tax on cigars, the Lehigh Valley is also home to some of the United States' largest cigar distributors and retailers.[25]

Renewable energy[edit]

Pennsylvania is ranked fourth in the nation in the production of renewable, notably solar, energy.[26] The Lehigh Valley boasts one of the largest solar panel installations in Pennsylvania and is a leading producer of solar and other renewable energy in the region. As an example, Air Products & Chemicals, in Trexlertown, installed and maintains a 15-acre solar farm which generates more than half the required electricity for their corporate headquarters, saving an estimated $250,000 per year in utility costs. The comparatively large solar industry in the Lehigh Valley is due mostly to a combination of federal, state and local incentive programs which make using renewable energy sources more lucrative and cost effective than in years past.[26]

Retail shopping[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is home to many retail establishments. The largest retail area of the Lehigh Valley is the Pennsylvania Route 145/MacArthur Road Corridor, just north of Allentown. It is anchored by the Lehigh Valley Mall and the Whitehall Mall.

Other malls in the region include Palmer Park Mall (in Easton), Phillipsburg Mall (in Phillipsburg, New Jersey), South Mall (in Allentown), and the Westgate Mall (in Bethlehem). In October 2006, a new Valley-based shopping mall, The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, was opened. Located off Route 309 in Upper Saucon Township, The Promenade is roughly half the size of the Lehigh Valley Mall, but features more upscale stores. In 2011, The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem opened at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, becoming the first outlet mall in the Lehigh Valley.[27]

Yocco's Hot Dogs, the regionally-famous fast food establishment known for their hot dogs and cheesesteaks, maintains six locations, all of which are based in the Lehigh Valley. Its original restaurant, founded in 1922, is still located at its original center city Allentown location, on West Liberty Street. Five additional Yocco's locations can be found in the Lehigh Valley (in west-side Allentown, east-side Allentown, Emmaus, Fogelsville, and Wescosville).

Media[edit]

Television[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is part of the Philadelphia television market, and also receives television stations from New York City and Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Lehigh Valley-based stations include WBPH-TV, an affiliate of FamilyNet, a Christian network licensed to Bethlehem but based in Allentown; WFMZ-TV, an independent commercial television station based in Allentown; and WLVT-TV, a PBS station licensed to Allentown but based in Bethlehem.

Radio[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is home to over 35 radio stations, spanning multiple formats, including news, talk, and sports, CHR/pop music, country music, National Public Radio, sports radio, oldies, polka, hot adult contemporary, soft rock, classic rock, hard rock, and a variety of college radio stations.

Print media[edit]

Lehigh Valley-based daily newspapers include the Allentown The Morning Call and the Easton The Express-Times, both with rich traditions dating back to the mid-1800s. The Lehigh Valley also features Lehigh Valley and Pocono Sports Extra (a monthly all sports publication), Lehigh Valley Style (a regional lifestyle publication), Lehigh Valley Magazine (the region's oldest lifestyle publication), Lehigh Valley Exposed (an alternative news and entertainment weekly), and four Spanish language newspapers, Al Dia, El Hispano, El Torero, and La Cronica. Lehigh Valley community publications include The Blue Mountain Town & Country Gazette in the northern part of the Valley.

Education[edit]

Alumni Memorial Building at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, 2005

Colleges and universities[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is a center of post-secondary education, with several four-year colleges and universities. These include:

The Lehigh Valley is also home to three two-year colleges:

High school education[edit]

As the third most populous metropolitan region in Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley is served by numerous school districts, public and private high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.

Lehigh Valley-based high schools include:

The largest Lehigh Valley high schools (12 in all) compete athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference. Smaller Lehigh Valley high schools compete in the Colonial League. In addition to its exceptional high school athletic teams, the Lehigh Valley is known nationally for their excellent math team, the Lehigh Valley Fire. The team has won the ARML competition in 2005 and every year since 2009. They also placed highly in previous years.[28]

Sports[edit]

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
FC Sonic Lehigh Valley NPSL Soccer Lehigh University's Ulrich Sports Complex 2009 1 (2012)
Lehigh Valley Cricket Club PCL Cricket Lehigh Valley Velodrome 1995 0
Lehigh Valley IronPigs IL Baseball Coca-Cola Park 2008 0
Lehigh Valley Phantoms AHL Ice hockey PPL Center 1996 2
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks IFL Indoor football Stabler Arena 2011 0
Lehigh Valley Storm GDFL Football J. Birney Crum Stadium 2010 0
Northampton Laurels FC WPSL Soccer J. Birney Crum Stadium 2005 0
Pennsylvania Stoners NPSL Soccer J. Birney Crum Stadium 1979 1 (1980)

Philadelphia Eagles, Lehigh Valley Storm and Lehigh Valley Steelhawks[edit]

From 1996 until 2012, the Lehigh Valley was the home of pre-season training camp for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, which was held each summer on the practice fields of Lehigh University in Bethlehem.

The Lehigh Valley Storm, a semi-professional football team, is based in Bethlehem. The Lehigh Valley also is home to the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, an Professional Indoor Football League team, which began playing their home games at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem in 2011.

IronPigs baseball[edit]

In early 2008, Coca-Cola Park, an 8,100-seat Minor League baseball stadium, opened in east-side Allentown.[29] The stadium hosts the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies' AAA-level International League franchise. The team previously played as the Ottawa Lynx (1993–2007).[30] The club's move to the Lehigh Valley brought the franchise closer to Philadelphia and the Phillies' large eastern Pennsylvania fan base. The team’s name is a reference to pig iron, a key ingredient in the steel-making process for which the Lehigh Valley area is known worldwide.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Coca-Cola Park were held September 6, 2006, and construction was completed in December 2007. The stadium hosted its first game on March 30, 2008, when the Phillies major league team faced the IronPigs.

Phantoms ice hockey[edit]

In March 2011, plans were announced for the creation of PPL Center, an 8,500-seat arena to be built in Allentown as the future home for the Adirondack Phantoms, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. The arena will be located in downtown Allentown taking up the entire block between 7th and 8th Streets and Hamilton Boulevard and Linden Street. In a controversial decision, the city has invoked eminent domain to help obtain the necessary properties and a contractor is expected to be chosen in 2012. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2013–2014 season. In January 2012, buildings on the current site began to be demolished to make room for the new arena.[31]

Stabler Arena[edit]

Main article: Stabler Arena

Lehigh University's Stabler Arena, an indoor arena, is in Bethlehem, in the Lehigh Valley. Stabler hosts regular sporting and concert events. The arena is also home to Lehigh University men's and women's college basketball teams.

"The Rivalry"[edit]

The scoreboard following the conclusion of "The Rivalry" in 2006, featuring Lehigh and Lafayette. Played continuously since 1884, it is the longest-standing collegiate football rivalry in the nation with 149 consecutive games.

The Lehigh Valley is also home to a strong collegiate football rivalry, between two local colleges: Easton's Lafayette College and Bethlehem's Lehigh University. The two teams have played each other 149 times since 1884, making it the longest uninterrupted rivalry in college football.[32]

High school athletics[edit]

The 12 largest high schools in the Lehigh Valley compete athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference. The conference has produced numerous professional and Olympic-level athletes, and its football, basketball and wrestling teams are often ranked among the best in the nation. In USA Today's annual ranking of the nation's top high school sports teams, Liberty High School was ranked second in the Eastern United States in football in 2008 and 20th among all high schools nationally. Parkland High School was ranked fifth in the East in football in 2002 and 11th among all high schools nationally. And Allentown Central Catholic High School was ranked seventh in girls' basketball in the East in both 2001–02 and 2002–03.[33]

Currently, three former athletes from Lehigh Valley Conference schools are on active professional athletic rosters, including one in the National Football League (Dan Koppen, Denver Broncos center from Whitehall High School), one in the National Basketball Association (Aaron Gray, Detroit Pistons center from Emmaus High School), and one in Major League Baseball (Brian Schneider, Philadelphia Phillies catcher from Northampton Area High School).

An additional 14 Lehigh Valley high schools too small to compete in the Lehigh Valley Conference compete in the Colonial League.

Gymnastics[edit]

Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center, which has been the training ground for numerous Olympians and U.S. national gymnastics champions, is based in Allentown. In 2003, CNN aired a documentary on Parkettes, Achieving the Perfect 10, which depicted it as a hugely demanding and competitive training program.

Running events[edit]

The Lehigh Valley hosts the Lehigh Valley 15K Road Race annually in September. It is one of the premiere eastern Pennsylvania running events. The Lehigh Valley Hospital Marathon, which features a certified marathon, five-person team relay, 20-mile (32 km) training run and 5K walk is also held annually in September. The 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) course follows the Lehigh River Canal Towpath from Allentown to Easton.

The Lehigh Valley also plays host to one of the largest cross country events in the nation. Lehigh University's Paul Short Run is held annually at the Goodman Cross Country Course and participation has climbed to over 5,000 runners spread throughout 14 college and high school races. The Emmaus 5K race is held annually in mid-October, coinciding with Emmaus' annual Halloween parade.[34]

Arts[edit]

The Allentown Art Museum, based in center city Allentown, is the Lehigh Valley's largest museum. The museum's collection includes more than 11,000 works of art. Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center and Lafayette College's smaller Williams Center for the Arts host a wide variety of plays, concerts and performances throughout the year.

Lehigh Valley in popular music[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is the subject of four rock music songs, one folk music song and one ska reggae album:

Several music videos have been filmed in the Lehigh Valley, including:

In addition, the heavy metal group Nazareth is named for Nazareth, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley.

Lehigh Valley in film and television[edit]

Lehigh Valley in literature[edit]

Recreation[edit]

Dorney Park's Steel Force and Thunderhawk roller coasters, in South Whitehall Township in the Lehigh Valley. Steel Force opened in 1997 as the tallest and fastest roller coaster on the East Coast of the United States, with a first drop of 205 feet (62 m) and a top speed of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h).[35]

The Lehigh Valley is home to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, a popular amusement and water park. Located in South Whitehall Township, Dorney Park is known nationally for its elaborate roller coasters and water rides.

The region's ski resorts are Bear Creek Ski and Recreation Area and Blue Mountain Ski Area. Bear Creek is a 21 slope resort located outside of Macungie, Pennsylvania. Blue Mountain is located near Danielsville, Pennsylvania. The Poconos, which feature some of the East Coast's best-known ski resorts, is approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of the Lehigh Valley. Several large lakes used for boating and fishing also are located there. Pocono Raceway in the Poconos holds two NASCAR race weekends a year along with an IndyCar race.

New Jersey shore beaches are approximately 70 to 140 miles (110 to 230 km) to the east and southeast of the Lehigh Valley.

Dutch Springs, the nation's largest SCUBA amusement park, is in Bethlehem and Lower Nazareth Township. Over 40,000 divers annually utilize the facilities, which have sunken "treasures" to enhance the underwater experience. In addition to scuba diving, kayaking and paddle boats are available. The facility has a water park, camping grounds, and picnic areas.

In 2009, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, an $879 million casino, hotel and apartment complex owned by the Las Vegas Sands, opened in Bethlehem, bringing legalized gambling to the Lehigh Valley for the first time. It is one of only 13 authorized gaming sites in Pennsylvania.

Many large festivals are held each year in the Lehigh Valley. Musikfest, a large, 10-day music festival, is held in Bethlehem each August. Mayfair Festival of the Arts, a visual and performing arts festival, is held in the Allentown Fairgrounds each May. In September, one of the largest Celtic heritage festivals in America, The Celtic Classic, is held in Bethlehem. The Great Allentown Fair has been held on the grounds of the Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown annually in late August through early September for more than 150 years. Das Awkscht Fescht is an antique car festival that is held annually the beginning of August in Macungie's Memorial Park.

Ice skating (including ice hockey, figure skating and speed skating) is popular in the Lehigh Valley and the region has three facilities. The Steel Ice Center is the premier ice skating facility, in Bethlehem on East 1st Street, not far from the Sands Casino. The Rink, formerly Lehigh Valley Ice Arena, is in Whitehall (north of Allentown) just off MacArthur Road (Route 145) on 7th Street. Each facility has two ice surfaces and public skate times are available at both facilities. The City of Bethlehem also opens a covered outdoor rink (one ice surface) annually from November through March.

The Bethlehem Skateplaza is a city park for skateboarding and freestyle BMX riding located at 1325 Steel Avenue, in Bethlehem.

Transportation[edit]

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABEICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005

Air transportation[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is served by air transportation through Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABEICAO: KABE), in the Lehigh Valley's Hanover Township, three miles (5 km) northeast of Allentown.

The Valley is also served by Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport, a two-runway general aviation facility located off Allentown's Lehigh Street. Queen City is used predominantly by private aviation. The airport was awarded General Aviation Airport of the year by the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006.[36]

Bus transportation[edit]

Public bus service in Lehigh Valley is available through the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, known as LANTA. In New Jersey, bus service is provided by New Jersey Transit.

Several private bus lines, including Bieber Tourways, Susquehanna Trailways and Trans-Bridge Lines, provide bus service from various Valley locations to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia's Greyhound Terminal, Atlantic City's Bus Terminal, and other regional locations.

Rail[edit]

Passenger service to the Lehigh Valley ceased in 1981 when several rail operators opted to curtail long-distance services. From the south, SEPTA Regional Rail limited their services to their electrified-only territory with trains going only as far north as Lansdale and Doylestown, Pennsylvania. (In the early and mid twentieth century golden age of passenger rail, the Reading Railroad provided rail service south and west of the area.[37][38]) To the east, the Central Railroad of New Jersey ceased passenger operations into the area, from Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1967 in conjunction with the Aldene Connection. The Lehigh Valley Railroad served the areas with freight transporting along with the Lehigh & Hudson River Railway and the Lehigh & New England Railroad. In 1974, passenger service was restored to Phillipsburg under state (New Jersey) subsidy. That service was terminated in 1984. All of the original railroads ultimately went bankrupt and were taken over by today's railroads. SEPTA removed the tracks approaching Allentown and Bethlehem from the south.

Current operator New Jersey Transit has looked at restoring rail service to Phillipsburg, New Jersey, but there are no official plans to extend service over the border into Pennsylvania at present. Currently, freight operator Norfolk Southern Railway heavily serves the region with a major classification yard in Allentown. Canadian Pacific, another freight operator, also transports through the Lehigh Valley.

In November 2008, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), along with both Lehigh and Northampton Counties, commissioned a study to explore the merits of expanding the New Jersey Transit line to the Lehigh Valley, which would potentially include stops in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.[39] The Lehigh Valley is currently the largest metropolitan area by population on the East Coast of the United States without passenger rail service of any kind.[40][41]

Roads[edit]

The Lehigh Valley has four major highways: Interstate 78, a major east-west highway, runs through the southern part of the Valley, duplexed with Pennsylvania Route 309. I-78 runs from Lebanon County in the west, where Interstate 81 provides a connection to Harrisburg, to the Holland Tunnel and New York City in the east.

U.S. Route 22 is a major freeway that runs through the Valley from Kuhnsville in the western part of the Valley to Easton in the eastern part of the Valley. U.S. Route 22 starts in Cincinnati, Ohio in the west, running through the Valley to Newark, New Jersey in the east. A third highway, Pennsylvania Route 33, runs north-south through the Lehigh Valley, from the Poconos in the north to Northampton County in the south.

The fourth major highway in the Valley is Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It stretches 131 miles (211 km) from Chester in the south to the Scranton-Wilkes Barre area in the north.

Other major roads in the Valley include MacArthur Road (PA 145), a divided local road that leads to the Lehigh Valley Mall and its surrounding commercial district. Cedar Crest Boulevard, a north-south highway, runs from North Whitehall Township in the north through west-side Allentown to Emmaus in the south. Lehigh Street runs from northeast to southwest, originating in downtown Allentown and ending in Emmaus. Tilghman Street runs from Fogelsville in the west to continue as Union Boulevard into Bethlehem in the east. Tilghman Street runs through most of Allentown and also intersects with Cedar Crest Boulevard, Pennsylvania Route 100, Pennsylvania Route 309 and several other major Lehigh Valley highways.

Telecommunications[edit]

The Lehigh Valley area was once served only by the 215 area code from 1947 (when the North American Numbering Plan of the Bell System went into effect) until 1994. With the region's growing population, however, Lehigh Valley areas were afforded area code 610 in 1994. Today, the Lehigh Valley is covered by 610. An overlay area code, 484, was added to the 610 service area in 1999.[42] A plan to introduce area code 835 as an additional overlay was rescinded in 2001.[43]

Wine[edit]

The Lehigh Valley AVA was designated an official American Viticultural Area in March, 2008. The wine region includes 230 acres (93 ha) of vineyards, planted to several Vitis vinifera and French-American hybrid grape varieties. Blue Mountain Vineyards in New Tripoli accounts of over 50 acres in the region and has won national and international awards. Fifteen to twenty percent of the wine produced commercially in Pennsylvania is made from grapes grown in the Lehigh Valley AVA.[44]

Famous people from the Lehigh Valley[edit]

The Lehigh Valley is the birthplace or home to a number of famous Americans, including:

See also[edit]

County statistics[edit]

Geographic Area July 1, 2005 Census 2000 1990 Census 1980 Census 1970 Census
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ MSA 790,535 740,395 686,688 635,481 594,382
Carbon County, Pennsylvania 61,959 58,802 56,846 53,285 50,573
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania 330,433 312,090 291,130 272,349 255,304
Northampton County, Pennsylvania 287,767 267,066 247,105 225,418 214,368
Warren County, New Jersey 110,376 102,437 91,607 84,429 73,960
Allentown, Pennsylvania 105,231 106,632 105,301 103,758 109,871
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 68,114 71,329 71,428
Easton, Pennsylvania 26,263 26,276 26,234

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official records for Allentown were kept at Allentown Gas Company from March 1922 to December 1943, and at Lehigh Valley Int'l since January 1944. For more information, see ThreadEx.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.census.gov/popest/data/metro/totals/2009/files/CBSA-EST2009-alldata.csv
  2. ^ a b "Pennsylvania County High Points". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb
  4. ^ Lehigh Valley Magazine
  5. ^ "Metropolitan statistical areas and components". Retrieved December 19, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Lehigh County has state's fastest growth rate - Morning Call. Mcall.com (2013-03-15). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  7. ^ a b c Allentown: Chemical material producer Avantor moves headquarters from New Jersey to Center Valley - Morning Call
  8. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  9. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for ALLENTOWN/A.-BETHLEHEM, PA 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  10. ^ American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metro Area – ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2008". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ Kraus, Scott (July 14, 2012). "No end in sight to Valley's population growth". The Morning Call (Allentown, PA). Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Lehigh County, Pennsylvania detailed profile - houses, real estate, cost of living, wages, work, agriculture, ancestries, and more
  13. ^ a b http://www.lvb.com/article/20140305/LVB01/140309965/Lehigh-Valley-takes-No-2-spot-on-national-economic-development-list
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
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  20. ^ Upper Macungie: Upper Macungue planners OK Ocean Spray plans - Morning Call
  21. ^ Lehigh Valley business: Region entices out-of-state companies - Morning Call
  22. ^ Allentown: Amazon hiring hundreds to Lehigh Valley warehouse - Morning Call
  23. ^ Bethlehem LVIP jobs: Bethlehem warehouse at LVIP could bring 500 jobs - Morning Call
  24. ^ http://articles.mcall.com/2012-01-27/business/mc-allentown-boston-beer-20120127_1_craft-beers-samuel-adams-beer-yuengling
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  28. ^ The Official American Regions Mathematics League Web Site
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  30. ^ "Baseball Reference Bullpen: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons". Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  31. ^ Allentown council authorizes use of eminent domain for hockey arena if needed. lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
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  33. ^ "Super 25 prep football regional rankings". USA Today. December 22, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2009. 
  34. ^ Emmaus 5K
  35. ^ "Rollercoaster Database: Steel Force (Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom)". Retrieved July 10, 2008. 
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