Ohiopyle project is a finalist for a national award

For the Observer-Reporter

The Ohiopyle Multimodel Gateway project completed last year was one of 12 finalists for the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ 2021 America’s Transportation Awards competition. The tunnel is shown in this July 2020 photo.

A 2020 PennDOT project in Ohiopyle has been named as a finalist for a nationwide award.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that its Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway Project is among the top 12 finalists in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ 2021 America’s Transportation Awards.

The competition is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; it evaluates projects in categories of Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology & Innovation and Operations Excellence.

The Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway Project was recognized in the category of Community Development/Quality of Life for providing safer multimodal options around the popular state park.

The $12.8 million Fayette County project was completed last year and was designed to improve access for visitors to Ohiopyle State Park by allowing them to cross beneath Route 381 from an expanded parking lot to get to the visitors center perched above the Youghiogheny River.

The top 12 finalists were whittled down from 80 nominees from 35 state departments of transportation via four U.S. regional contests.

The Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway Project and the other 11 projects will compete for the grand prize as well as a people’s choice award.

Both prizes come with a $10,000 cash award, for a charity or transportation-related scholarship of the winners’ choosing.

An independent panel of transportation industry experts will select the grand prize winner, while the general public will decide the people’s choice award winner through online voting.

“It is great to see recognition for the important work done to improve access and traffic flow at Ohiopyle State Park,” said Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “We hope many of the millions who visit the park support this project by voting in this competition and also by spreading the word about the access and safety improvements that enhance the park experience.”

Online votes will be weighted to each state’s population, allowing for greater competition between states with larger and smaller populations.

The winners will be announced during the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ annual meeting in San Diego, Oct. 26-29.

Online voting in now open and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 25.

“We hope that Pennsylvanians will turn out to support this project by voting in the competition,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “This recognition truly reflects the department’s hard work to improve the public’s enjoyment of this amazing state park.”

To learn more about the America’s Transportation Awards projects and to vote on a finalist project, visit www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org. Individuals can cast no more than one vote per device per day.

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