Groundbreaking Held For Multimodal Project To Improve Safety, Connectivity Around Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County
On November 28, Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined PennDOT regional, park, and local officials to break ground on the Ohiopyle Intermodal Gateway project.
The Ohiopyle Intermodal Gateway project will reduce current conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and boat renters traversing Route 381 near Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County.
It will create a safer and better connection between the Borough of Ohiopyle and Ohiopyle State Park with improved parking, sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic-calming measures.
“Transportation assets should meet community needs, and this is a great example of how we can support local economies and improve safety,” Richards said. “I’m very proud of the interagency and community collaboration that has gone into making this project a reality.”
Planned improvements include:
-- Widening Route 381 to the west (towards the Youghiogheny River/Ohiopyle State Park visitor's area) to allow installation of sidewalks on both sides of Route 381;
-- Improved parking and pedestrian access on Route 381;
-- Reconstructing the existing parking area to the south of the Borough of Ohiopyle and east of Route 381 to improve flow through the parking lot and increase the number of parking spaces;
-- Constructing a new pedestrian underpass from the redesigned parking area to the park Visitor's Center area; and
-- Replacing a superstructure on the existing Route 381 bridge over the Youghiogheny River.
Additionally, Route 2012 (Sugarloaf Road) will be relocated slightly to the north so that it parallels Negley Road (local road). Negley Road will no longer have an intersection with Route 381 but will remain as a parking area/staging area for use by the businesses that abut Negley Road.
Dunn noted close cooperation with PennDOT has been ingrained in past improvements at Ohiopyle State Park, such as the June 2015 dedication of its Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center.
A $4 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program helped pave the way for much of that project, undertaken in close cooperation with PennDOT’s Byways and Recreational Trails Section.
“Just as that incredible new visitor center casts a spotlight on all that Ohiopyle offers the outdoors enthusiast, this groundbreaking highlights all the partnerships and cooperation among two state departments that help a great state park get even greater,” Dunn said.
The contractor on this $12.4 million project is Plum Contracting, Inc., with the project expected to be completed before Memorial Day 2020. Click Here to subscribe to PennDOT news in Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.
The 20,500-acre Ohiopyle is Pennsylvania’s largest park, and among the United States’ most heavily visited state parks, welcoming more than 1.5 million people annually.
With the Ohiopyle Falls serving as its centerpiece and the Youghiogheny River flowing through much of it, the park serves as a recreation and tourism hub amid 100,000 acres of public lands.
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[Posted: Nov. 29, 2018]
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