Pittston Riverfront Trail Funding

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PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On Wednesday, State Senator John Yudichak announced that his district of Luzerne County will receive $2 million in funding from PennDOT’s transportation alternatives funding program.

The PennDOT program provides funding for transportation alternatives, like bike lanes and hiking trails.
Infrastructure projects that make a community more accessible without the need for a car.

“This funding will create even more ‘rails to trails’ and riverside trails in our scenic and beautiful communities in northeast Pennsylvania,” Yudichak said.

The City of Pittston is receiving $1 million from PennDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Funding Program to expand and improve the city’s waterfront trail.

Joseph Burge frequently uses the track to tell Eyewitness News, “Every day, of course. Exercise. Good exercise, you know? Don’t grow old.

“It’s an extension of the trail, some on-trail amenities, lighting, ADA accessibility at points on the trail,” Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo said.

Improvements also include safety features like pedestrian signals.

This will provide alternative transport routes like cycle paths and pedestrian routes to river areas, the main street and local bus stops. The trail will extend to North Main Street, the neighborhood where the city is already planning a $5 million streetscape project.

“There’s a boat launch there. It’s sort of part of this long-term plan to expand the trail system. We did the initial phase of the trail a few years ago and now we’re looking to continue to Duryea and then make that connection to Lackawanna County, the heritage trail,” Mayor Lombardo said.

Lombardo says NEPA has yet to realize the full potential of its trail systems. Connecting them is a big step forward. He says city leaders realize the importance of having outdoor activities, especially since the pandemic.

“This has huge implications in terms of tourism, economic viability and connection. I think you’ll see a lot of companies that can potentially pop up in regards to that,” Lombardo said.

Many locals, like Burge, are already taking advantage of the existing trail. He says he’s excited about the expansion and hopes the improvements will include routine maintenance.

“The trail is so nice here. It just needs to be cleaned up a bit more. That’s it, you know,” Burge said.

The Township of Hanover will also receive $1 million in funding to grade and cap the former Lehigh Valley Railroad track alignment between Mountain Top and Laurel Run Borough. Improvements also include drainage, panels, fencing and gates.

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