If you’ve driven down Main Street in the historic district recently, you’ve probably noticed something a little out of the ordinary, like the massive construction zone right in the middle of the road.

The hole isn’t permanent, we promise.

It’s Phase I of a six phase project to revive the historic district. This phase will culminate in the laying of a granite Bethlehem star right into the road. Check out the design of the final star below.

So far, this has been funded privately by the Liberty Property Trust who has committed a dollar-to-dollar match on the entire project which will end up costing $3.2 million and replacing a water line that’s 100 years old.

The contractor for the star portion of this revitalization, Ron Check of Grace Industries, has a personal story for this phase of the project. Having been in the contracting and constructing business for his entire life, Ron and his brother bought Grace Industries from his father, Ronald Check Senior. Mr. Check, Sr. was born and raised in Bethlehem and first worked as an engineer for Bell Telephone before he started a company in the 1970s that would later become Grace Industries. Ron Check, Jr. calls his father the single biggest influence of his life and although his father is now elderly and confined to a wheelchair, they are going to do one last construction project together – laying the final granite on the Bethlehem star on Main Street.

So, when you drive or walk over the new granite, be sure to think of Ronald Check, Junior and Senior – the father and son team who completed our new star and countless other projects in the Lehigh Valley.