Public Works

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Department Organization Chart

The Department of Public Works is the combination of physical infrastructure assets, management practices, policies, and personnel necessary for our municipality to provide and sustain structures and services essential to the welfare and acceptable quality of life for our citizens. The Department of Public Works includes the Bureaus of Engineering, Streets Maintenance, Facilities Maintenance, Ground Maintenance, Traffic Maintenance, Electrical Maintenance, Mechanical Maintenance and Urban Forestry. The Department directly manages, maintains, and improves the City of Bethlehem’s public stormwater collection system, roadway transportation systems, parks, building, public electrical systems including traffic signals and street lights, municipal vehicle fleet including Fire engines, heavy construction equipment, Police vehicles, traffic management systems, and the urban forestry environment. Along with these core functions, the Department of Public Works also provides engineering, permitting and record keeping services to all City Departments particularly the water and wastewater systems.

Bureau Descriptions

The administration bureau provides for the overall administration of department activities and provides guidance to Bureau Managers in the management of their respective areas. The bureau administers a variety of annual programs that affect the health, convenience, and comfort of City residents and the community, including engineering, the maintenance and repair of all City streets, bridges, sewers, water lines, sidewalks, as well as a comprehensive traffic signal and signing network and design, permitting and review of public works projects and related construction.

The engineering bureau provides professional design, drafting, surveying and inspection services for the numerous infrastructure projects undertaken by the City, reviews all subdivisions and land developments for compliance with City Ordinances and Codes, and maintains permanent records of the City’s infrastructure as required. Activities include design and inspection of all streets, permitting, utilities, bridges, bridge rehab, review of subdivisions and public improvements, cost estimates, and design of City-owned projects.


The streets bureau provides for the maintenance and paving of streets, alleys, including the repair of sinkholes, frost boils, potholes, and crack sealing. The bureau is also responsible for street sign repair, leaf collection, snow removal, cleanup support for events, maintenance of storm sewer system and ensuring the streets are safe and passable at all times.


This bureau provides a two-phased approach towards the care of City-owned buildings. Phase I provides for general maintenance activities that are required due to the normal use of these facilities and equipment. Related functions include general housekeeping/appearance, and provisions for the health and safety of the public and employees. Phase II of the program provides for a cost-effective preventative maintenance plan in order to minimize the wear and tear on City buildings and reduce operational cost. In addition, our talented in-house team provides remodeling and/or construction support on Capital projects.

This bureau provides for the development and maintenance of the City’s parks, playgrounds, ball fields, trails and greenways; and for the landscape maintenance/vegetation management of other City properties including swimming pools, fire stations, street islands, riparian corridors, detention basins, swales and vacant City property. In addition to assisting with all snow operations, the bureau clears 11 parking lots, 20 miles of sidewalks and 25 bridge sidewalks. The bureau also provides trash removal at more than 225 locations, a graffiti removal program, and various masonry work at city owned properties. In addition to the 40 parks located throughout the city, the bureau maintains 71 additional properties, grass lots and city owned buildings.

The forestry bureau manages all urban forestry activities including monitoring, promoting, conducting, permitting, and overseeing all urban forestry functions within the right-of way in accordance with the City’s shade tree ordinance (Article 910). The bureau also reviews all land development plans and ensures compliance with the City’s SALDO and Zoning ordinances pertaining to landscaping. In addition, Urban Forestry manages and supports work with other departments and bureaus on forestry related matters, special programs, community outreach, education, and greening initiatives and collaborates with community associations, government agencies, and volunteer groups to build and maintain a sustainable and attractive community.


The mechanical bureau provides for the acquisition, service and repair of all City owned/leased motorized vehicles, including Fire, Police and construction equipment. This bureau performs state inspections, road service, lubes, and rebuilding of component parts for vehicles and equipment.


The electrical bureau provides for the management, permitting, and maintenance of the City’s street and traffic signal lights. This bureau also maintains radio trunking system, provides electrical support to special events, safety communication system maintenance, and electrical support to all public buildings, in-house projects, and recreational facilities.


The traffic bureau provides for the review of site development plans, management and execution of street closings, line paintings, traffic evaluations, traffic control signs installations/maintenance, special event coordination and setup and supervision of traffic related projects.


Connect with Public Works

Director/City Engineer
Michael Alkhal, P.E.


Department of Public Works
10 E. Church Str eet
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Fax: 610-865-7331

Pothole Hotline: 610-865-7053
Streetlight Hotline: 610-865-7053
Graffiti Hotline: 610-865-7065
Engineering: 610-865-7063
Streets: 610-865-7053
Grounds: 610-865-7065
Forestry: 610-865-7073
Mechanical: 610-865-7138
Electrical: 610-865-7108
Traffic: 610-997-7960

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