River Walk access, parking about to get much better

The Susquehanna River Walk has become a unique asset that highlights the river and natural beauty that are the stamps of our area.

There’s only one problem. It’s hard to get access to the walk that rings the river between downtown Williamsport and the hills of South Williamsport.

That’s about to change.

This summer, those who use the River Walk will find it easier and safer to park.

A two-lane access road, 90-space gravel lot and flashing railroad crossing east of the existing entrance at the Hepburn Street ramp will be built. The roadway access begins this month.

A bid for the access road paving at $65,300 will be paid for with the city’s portion of the natural gas impact fees.

The existing entrance to the parking area will be blocked off at the city’s pump station and nobody will be able to drive down a gravel path leading to an underpass beneath the Maynard Street off ramp.

Flashing lights will be put in at the crossing about 150 feet from where the road crosses the track now and a fence will be constructed between the tracks and the parking lot.

The end result of all of this will be easier, safer access to the river walk and 90 spaces of parking.

Consider it the final piece needed to make the river walk the newest jewel in the area’s harvest of natural assets.