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PennDOT receives regional America's Transportation Award for improving mobility and accessibility at Ohiopyle State Park

September 07, 2021 09:00 AM
By: Jan Huzvar

​PennDOT recently received a regional America's Transportation Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). We were recognized for the Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway Project in the category of Community Development/Quality of Life for providing safer multimodal options around this popular state park. 

"It is always gratifying when PennDOT is recognized for our efforts," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "We are proud that our Ohiopyle project to improve accessibility to this magnificent state park has received this prestigious award from AASHTO." 

Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania receives almost 1.5 million visitors a year, who typically use State Route 381 to access the park. To improve accessibility and safety for motorists, bicyclists, boaters, and pedestrians along Route 381, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation launched the $12.8 million Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway project.

"DCNR is pleased with the success of the Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway Project and is thankful for the work of our partner state agency," said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. "PennDOT's work helped improve access and flow at a very busy intersection of one of Pennsylvania's most popular state parks. This allowed pedestrians, people in vehicles, bicyclists and boaters an even better ability to safely enjoy our parks in multiple ways. This is key as we continue to be welcoming of all guests looking to enjoy time at a beautiful state park. Thank you to PennDOT's team and congratulations on the award."

The Route 381 bridge over the Youghiogheny River was replaced with a new structure that includes wider lanes for vehicles and a 10-foot-wide shared use pedestrian and bike path with a wide shoulder. Additionally, nearby Sugarloaf Road was relocated to improve the grade and allow for a reconstruction of the boating parking lot and the creation of a pedestrian underpass. Route 381 was also widened, allowing for continuous sidewalks and on-street parking, and a dedicated bike lane was built away from Route 381 traffic. These enhancements improved safety for all visitors, regardless of travel mode, while improving convenience and accessibility to the park for everyone.

Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the America's Transportation Awards competition recognizes state departments of transportation and highlights the projects they deliver that make their communities a better place to live, work, and play. Project nominations fall into one of three categories: Operations Excellence, Best Use of Technology & Innovation, and Quality of Life/Community Development. All nominated projects will first compete on a regional level against projects of their own size: "Small" (projects costing up to $25 million), "Medium" (projects costing between $26 million and $200 million), and "Large" (projects costing more than $200 million).

For more information about how we're improving mobility and quality of life in Pennsylvania, please visit the PennDOT website.

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