Local News Stories and LTE 2019.

← Back to Forums


Allegheny county starts adopt a road program. Doesn’t include county bridges because they’re well maintained… :)

Allegheny County launches Adopt-a-Roadway program


I added this comment on the road cleanup story

Speaking from experience, only the first pass at cleanup on a newly adopted road takes any real effort. The first time through, you will have years of accumulation of trash, car parts and other debris. After that, though, picking up only six to 12 months of litter goes much faster.



Ohiopyle business owners angry about way construction being done.



text below–

OHIOPYLE — Restaurant owner Pam Kruse’s instructions to PennDOT and its contractor concerning the ongoing construction project in this compact Fayette County town were direct and to the point:

“Get it done, clean up after yourselves and get out,” said the owner of the year-round Falls Market and Restaurant. “We have company coming.”

Lots of company.

The small town (52 acres, population 59) and the 20,000-acre state park that surrounds it welcome upwards of 1.5 million visitors a year.

And that company arrives as early as mid-March and continues through late October. Memorial Day through Labor Day are the busiest days.

Barring any more “unforeseen and unanticipated” delays, PennDOT project manager Bill Beaumariage said, the first phase of the $12.4 million project “to improve safety and traffic flow” will be completed – and all the related equipment and supplies will be out of the way — by May 23 in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The work includes a pedestrian tunnel beneath Route 381; the rehabilitation, including 10-foot wide sidewalks, of the two-lane concrete bridge that carries traffic over the Youghiogheny River; the relocation of Sugarloaf Road; moving bike lanes; and new clothes-changing facilities.

One immediate issue is where construction equipment will be stored during tourist season. The business owners want it put in one location so it doesn’t take up too much of the town’s limited parking spaces. It’s now occupying portions of the upper Ferncliff Peninsula parking lot and the parking lot near the old Western Maryland Railway station used by vehicles toting bike racks and roof racks for kayaks and canoes.

As the sounds of bulldozers and backhoes growled in the background on a sunny, 65 degree afternoon Thursday, Mr. Beaumariage assured Ms. Kruse and other business owners gathered on dusty, one-block-long Negley Street that he’s well aware of their concerns.

“I swear to God, I don’t want to hurt your businesses.”

“Well, you already have,” said Jim Greenbaum, manager of White Water Adventurers, which is located on Negley Street. “I had to cancel a raft trip today because the street is closed.”

The company uses the street so its trucks, large vans and trailers can transport customers, rafts, canoes, inflatable kayaks and related whitewater equipment to and from its main garage that fronts on Negley.

“We never intended for this street to be closed,” Mr. Beaumariage said. “Unfortunately, the contractor didn’t know that, and that’s on me.”

That didn’t sit well with Joel Means, owner and operator of Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours. His business also fronts on Negley and is used by his vehicles, including buses, to transport customers.

He said construction projects during the past five years have cost him more than $200,000 in lost business. They included a Green Street Project on Sherman Street, a PennDOT bike lane and cross walks project along Route 381, the main road through town, and the new Visitors Center.

“I lost $60,000 alone on that Route 381 project,” Mr. Means said. “It was supposed to be done by Memorial Day of that year but it wasn’t completed until June 30 — a very costly delay.”

Mr. Means would like to have PennDOT and its contractor, Plum Contracting Inc. of Greensburg, finish what is formally known as the Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway Project this year. But Mr. Beaumariage said that wasn’t possible because it’s a two-phase, two-year job.

“I don’t want this project to continue into a third year,” Mr. Means said, a sentiment echoed by other business owners who accompanied Mr. Beaumariage on a walking tour of the town.

If the rafting companies lose money, so does the state. The companies pay the state $4.10 for each of their rafting customers. A park employee counts them as they carry the rafts down to the Youghiogheny River.

The day began for the business owners with a meeting and then a walking tour with state Rep. Matthew Dowling, R-Uniontown.

“It’s clear that parking is a big issue,” Mr. Dowling said. “I will contact PennDOT about that. I also want an updated copy of their Phase One and Phase Two plans for myself and the business owners.”


← Back to Forums

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.

Supported by