Trifecta of approvals Pushes three needed initiatives forward

It’s one thing to have ideas and vision and local consensus on priorities for the region.

Unfortunately, when the ideas involve bricks, mortar and infrastructure, confetti is not an acceptable payment. It takes money and sources to provide the money. A battery of sources for that money came to light last week.

More than $5 million is coming from the state Department of Transportation for bicycle trails and other connections between designated river towns. Among the projects that made the list of 82 statewide that are receiving funding are upgrades linking people to the Susquehanna River Walk in Williamsport and Loyalsock Township and the Pine Creek Trail in Clinton County.

This is a big boost in the long-term plans of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership to have a recreation trail that extends throughout and beyond our region to other areas.

Another top priority, the East End Gateway Project in Williamsport, got a $511,882 boost in non-taxpayer funding from the Lycoming County Commissioners. The money is for infrastructure work meant to eventually prompt private investment in development along the city’s East End commercial corridor.

In a second boost to that area, City Council’s finance committee recommended approval of a $1.1 million grant from the state Department of Transportation as part of the East Third Street/Old City Revitalization project.

The money, if approved, would be used to pay for realignment of Franklin Street and a project to make Basin Street two-way between Fourth and Third streets.

That’s another long-overdue initiative.

Completion of an ongoing biking and walking network, development of the East End of Williamsport and traffic/infrastructure improvements in that area all moved closer to reality with this trifecta of action last week.