Recent improvements to make Ohiopyle State Park easier to access have received top marks from transportation industry officials.
PennDOT received a regional America’s Transportation Award for its $ 12.8 million Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway project. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) presented the award, recognizing the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in the Community Development / Quality of Life category.
Completed in July 2020, the multi-phase project included replacing the Route 381 bridge over the Youghiogheny River with a larger span that provides motorists with more spacious lanes as well as a 10 foot wide path shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
Another widening took place elsewhere on Route 381, a primary access route for park visitors. This enabled the construction of continuous sidewalks and provided space for parking spaces on the street. A separate cycle path was built on the autobahn away from traffic.
The nearby Sugarloaf Road was relocated to improve the slope and allow the rebuilding of a parking lot for boats.
Pedestrians can now safely cross under Route 381 using a tunnel created by digging up the freeway, installing prefabricated retaining walls, and rebuilding the road on top of the tunnel.
Managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Ohiopyle State Park attracts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually for activities such as touring the Youghiogheny River Gorge and white water rafting on the river.
“PennDOT’s work has helped improve access and flow at a very busy intersection of one of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn State Park. “
“It is always gratifying when PennDOT is recognized for our efforts,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.
PennDOT’s Ohiopyle project was weighed against other regional nominees in the small division – projects costing $ 25 million or less. PennDOT is part of Region 1 of AASHTO, the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO).
Other states represented in the regional organization are Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the states of New England, along with Washington, DC
The AASHTO Prize is in addition to previous honors for the Ohiopyle project. It was named Project of the Year 2020 by the Southwest Penn Chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers and the Pittsburgh Chapter of WTS, an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through global advancement, was named Innovative Transportation Solutions 2020 winner chosen by women.