Daily News Briefs, September 19, 2023

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Pennsylvania Turnpike Plaza Will Be Site Of New Recreation Area And Trailhead

The Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Sideling Hill Plaza will become the site of a trailhead and new recreation area along The Old PA Pike (TOPP) Trail network, Bedford Gazette reports. A central feature of the revitalized, 8.5-mile trail will be a previously abandoned tunnel that was part of the state’s original turnpike, dating to 1940. “In addition to the regular amenities of the service plaza, the trailhead itself is set to feature a covered pavilion with seating, bike racks and a bike washing station, and wayfinding signage as the trailhead will be a gateway to the hundreds of miles available on the TOPP Trail and others.” Current construction at the plaza itself is part of the project. In addition to state funding, a $358,000 matching grant has been awarded to the Bedford Fulton Joint Recreation Authority by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Both Bedford and Fulton Counties, which will be linked by the trail, contributed to the project development, as did the Bedford County Development Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and PennDOT. The trailhead is scheduled to open in fall 2025.

The Tribune-Democrat also covers a September 14 event at which state and local leaders, including turnpike chief executive Mark Compton, spotlighted the trail project.

Alternative and Active Transportation Environmental Protection Policies Procedures And Initiatives Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) Service Plazas


George Washington Bridge Gets Major Pedestrian And Bicycle Access Upgrades

The New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) announced, “For the first time in the 100-year history of the world’s busiest bridge, pedestrians and cyclists can connect from sidewalks on the New York and New Jersey sides of the Hudson River directly to the George Washington Bridge.” A presentation at the September 12 meeting of the NJTPA board highlighted the improved access, including safer approaches, protected plazas and viewing areas, and long switchback ramps for cyclists to use in place of the stairs and hairpin turns they previously had to navigate. The bridge’s North Walk opened in February, and work is now underway on the South Walk, which will remain closed until its restoration is completed in 2027. At that time, the North Walk will be reserved for cyclists and the South Walk for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs. “The bicycle and pedestrian improvements are part of a larger rehabilitation project,” Restoring the George, a $2 billion undertaking funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).

Alternative and Active Transportation George Washington Bridge Highway and Bridge Maintenance New Jersey New York New York City PANYNJ


Massachusetts Turnpike Restoration Projects Are Underway In Berkshires Region

WWLP reports, MassDOT is conducting Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) restoration work this week in the Berkshires region. Crews will be milling pavement, doing slope stabilization, and repairing bridges and drainage facilities along the eastbound and westbound lanes. The work is slated to take place at various times and locations listed in the article. Although some day and night lane closures will be required, the turnpike will remain open and travelers should expect delays.

Highway and Bridge Maintenance Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Massachusetts Turnpike


These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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