10 county projects receive more than $1.53M in state funding
STAFF WRITER A bicycle lane study for downtown Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and two Lackawanna River Heritage Trail expansions are among 10 Lackawanna County projects collectively awarded more than $1.53 million in state funding Tuesday.
Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the money through the Multimodal Transportation Fund; Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program; and Sewage Facilities Program.
“The investment … in our regional economy to support critically important infrastructure and safety projects, as well as much-needed recreation projects, is wonderful news,” state Sen. John Blake, D-22, Archbald, said in a prepared statement. State Reps. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-114, Taylor, and Marty Flynn, D-113, Scranton, also announced projects in their districts.
The largest grant was $505,367 for paving a 1.2 mile section of Stauffer Road at Stauffer Industrial Park in Taylor, which Lackawanna County Economic Development Director George Kelly said hasn’t been done for decades.
A $54,400 grant will help
study an idea to connect bike lanes to points of interest in the downtowns, boosting recreation options while giving people who don’t drive another way to travel.
Kelly hopes to add examining Scranton’s walkability in the Lackawanna County part of the study. Each county has to come up with a $11,250 match for the grant.
Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority got two grants to improve the Heritage trail throughout the county,
including $100,000 to develop nearly a mile of trail that would connect Parker Street in Scranton to Boulevard Avenue, running behind Lackawanna County Recycling Center to the Throop line.
The Scranton Marvine Connector project would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to walk or ride between Scranton and the Midvalley and move closer to connecting the city trail to the upcoming Dickson City stretch, said Owen Worozbyt, LHVA’s trail and environmental projects manager.
LHVA plans to soon apply to the state Department of Transportation for another $900,000 to line up the remaining funding and perhaps begin construction in the spring or summer of 2019.
The organization also garnered a $70,000 grant to connect the Scranton Riverwalk section of trail to downtown Scranton at Lackawanna Avenue to give walkers a safe alternative to a narrow sidewalk on an underpass below the Seventh Avenue railroad bridge.
Taylor was awarded a $95,245 grant to support the construction of a splash park. Borough Manager Daniel Zeleniak said the new funding brings the borough to $200,000 raised out of roughly $300,000 to $320,000 needed to add the splash park at Derenick Memorial Field.
“We are looking to see if we can possibly partner up with some of our neighboring downvalley communities to see if there’s an interest in assisting and participating in building this thing,” he said. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100, x5181; @kwindTT on Twitter