Funds OK’d for Pathway to Health, Millers Run projects

Two local transportation projects have received state funding after a highly competitive initiative to improve transportation alternatives was completed across the Commonwealth.

“We did very well considering we’re a rural county here,” said Mark Murawski, transportation supervisor for the county. “Investing early in developing sound project concepts is imperative to getting money.”

The county received roughly 5 percent of the $33 million in federal funds allocated for the state, Murawski said. The money was distributed to 51 state Department of Transportation projects.

“You have to show the state that you can deliver quickly,” he said.

The Williamsport Pathway to Health Project will receive $798,500 to finish the project’s fourth phase to renovate the streetscape and sidewalk area of Campbell Street between Third Street and Little League Blvd. It also will add a gateway into the historic district of the city, Murawski said.

The money for the pathway will finish the project, which has encompassed various road construction efforts around the UPMC Susquehanna hospital for the past 10 years, Murawski said.

“Now it is a fully functional hospital both inside and out,” he said.

Murawski also said the project is in the design portion of phase three with construction on Maynard Street, between East Third Street and Campbell Street, set to being in May. The entire project is expected to be finished by the end of 2018, he added.

The Millers Run Greenway will receive $765,000 for phase one of its project to construct a trail at the end of the Susquehanna River Walk along Millers Run and the construction of a pedestrian bridge across East Third Street to eventually connect the river walk with the Bruce Henry and James E. Short parks in Loyalsock Township.

“The Golden Strip has been a barrier for that community to access the riverwalk,” Murawski said.

Gov. Tom Wolf, who approved the projects, said they are imperative to enhancing communities across the state and building stronger economies with better infrastructure.

“Making these improvements will enhance pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improve access to public transportation, create safe routes to school, preserve historic transportation structures, provide environmental mitigation, create trails that serve a transportation purpose, and promote safety and mobility,” Wolf said.

Muraski said this is a process that takes place every year, so the Millers Run project could apply for further funding as it continues with the remaining phases.