Bayfront Parkway Improvement Project
The City of Erie is experiencing a resurgence of both private and public sector development and investment in its downtown and on the Bayfront. In the heart of these developments lies the Bayfront Parkway (Route 4034), which has served the community since the early 1990s. The parkway serves as the east-west connection, but a need for north-south connections is growing.
In collaboration with local project stakeholders and the community, the Bayfront Parkway Project will enhance these connections and provide the infrastructure needed to support the growth of the region.
The purpose of the project is to improve the pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and passenger vehicle connections between the Erie Central Business District and adjacent neighborhoods to the waterfront property north of the Bayfront Parkway, to reduce crashes on the parkway as much as practical, to decrease future congestion to an acceptable level of service or delay, and to increase traffic operations and efficiency.
Preliminary construction work on the project started in October 2023. The project is expected to take several years to complete and will be done in stages that will maintain traffic to all the businesses off the parkway between Sassafras Street Extension to Holland Street.
The improvements along the central part of the corridor included in this project include:
- Dual-lane roundabouts at Sassafras Street Extension and Holland Street.
- Grade separate intersection at State Street, including a traditional signalized at-grade intersection and a path for through traffic on the Bayfront to travel below the intersection.
- Sidewalk and crosswalk upgrades throughout the length of the project;
- Multi-use trail connecting the existing trail network, downtown, and the waterfront.
- Overhead pedestrian bridge Holland Street.
The anticipated stages of the project (as of October 2023) include the following:
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Stage 1 includes working on retaining walls adjacent to Front Street and roundabout construction of the waterfront side of the Sassafras Street Extension intersection. There will also be some preliminary utility work and sidewalk construction. Physical work in this stage started on October 30, 2023 and be completed in the spring of 2024.
Some work will require a pedestrian and bike detours will be required during certain parts of Stage 1, including the following:
- Pedestrian detour will be in place for the Bayfront Promenade near 100 State Street.
- Multiuse trail will be closed on the northside of the Bayfront Parkway between Sassafras Street and State Street. Pedestrians will be detoured to the sidewalk on the southside of Front Street and bicyclists will be detoured to a shared-road system on Front Street.
- Minor motorized traffic impacts are anticipated during this stage, include some temporary lane restrictions near the State Street intersection.
Stage 2 is tentatively scheduled to start in late spring 2024. It will include the completion of the hybrid roundabout at Sassafras Street Extension, as well as new curb ramps, sidewalks improvements, pavement markings and sign upgrades near the intersection. Additional work will be done on the retaining walls, underground utilities and drainage at State Street, which will require a closure of the southern half of the State Street intersection. Detours will be posted for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorized vehicles. Access to the waterfront from the parkway during this phase will be maintained. Work will require some traffic interruptions during certain portions of the roundabout construction, including lane restrictions and traffic controlled by flaggers. This stage is expected to be completed in 2024.
Stage 3 is tentatively scheduled to start in early spring 2025. It will include constructing the new bridge and associated work at the State Street intersection in preparation for creating a grade separated intersection. Work will also include the construction of retaining walls and bridge abutments on both sides of the parkway. The intersection of the Bayfront Parkway and State Street is expected to be closed during a large portion of this work. Detours will be posted for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorized vehicles. Access to the properties on the waterfront side of the parkway at State Street will be available using Front Street from Sassafras Street or Holland Street. This stage is expected to be completed in 2025.
Stage 4 is tentatively set to start in early spring 2026. It will include constructing the southern half of the Holland Street interchange and the first portions of the planned pedestrian cable-stayed bridge. The eastbound and westbound lanes connecting to the grade separated intersection at State Street are scheduled to be completed during this stage as well. Work will require some traffic interruptions during certain portion of the roundabout construction, including lane restrictions and traffic controlled by flaggers. This stage is expected to be completed in 2026.
Stage 5 is tentatively set to start in the summer of 2026. It will include constructing the northern half of the Holland Street interchange and completing the pedestrian cable-stayed bridge. Work will also include connecting and completing the remaining portions of the pedestrian and bicycle amenities on the eastern portion of the parkway. Work will require some traffic interruptions during certain portions of the roundabout construction, including lane restrictions and traffic controlled by flaggers. This stage is expected to be completed in t 2026.
Stage 6 is tentatively set to start in the early spring of 2027. It will include the final roadway paving, completing all remaining landscaping items and applying final pavement markings and signs. This work is set to be completed by the summer of 2027.
Several other projects and long-term plans have been created to supplement and expand the efforts to increase connectivity and safety along the Bayfront.
Proposed pedestrian improvements along the bluff to Water Works Road and the North Front Street realignment are being led by the Erie Western PA Port Authority.
Click on any of the tiles below for additional information on different aspects of the multi-year project. Project updates, traffic advisories, and detour postings can be found under the News and Releases sections.