– State Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) has worked with both the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Ohioplye State Park to ensure that visitors will be able to safely enjoy recreation at the state park throughout Memorial Day Weekend.
“My office has been in constant communication with the state park and PennDOT throughout the entirety of this ongoing, multimodal project,” Dowling said. “In compliance with the governor’s wishes to keep state parks open for recreation, the park has seen an overwhelming amount of visitors throughout the past few months, and with the coming long weekend, I’m sure the days ahead will be no exception.”
PennDOT has an ongoing bridge replacement and other improvement projects at Ohiopyle, including a pedestrian underpass. Due to COVID-19, the completion of the project has been delayed.
“Both park and PennDOT officials have visitors’ safety in the front of their minds,” said Dowling.
PennDOT officials said that traffic will likely be highly congested on Route 381 throughout the weekend. Visitors should be prepared for wait times on both the northbound and southbound ends.
Aside from traffic, visitors should also be aware of parking, shuttling and bathroom notices:
• Parking lots will be open, with some restrictions. The existing Ferncliff lot and the new Sugarloaf Road lot have space for hundreds of cars, eliminating the need for visitors to park on the street.
• Coburn Bus Company will be providing free shuttle service to boaters for the holiday weekend. Boaters should park in the lot near the Old Mitchell lot. The shuttle will run continuously between Bruner Run (which is the end to most whitewater excursions), and the Old Mitchell parking area.
• Bathrooms are open at the train station and visitors center. It is important to note that the visitors center exhibit areas will not be open for services. The door is unlocked only for restroom access. To limit exposure, visitors with questions are encouraged to call park staff at 724-329-8591, ext. 5.
• Social distancing standards should be upheld by all visitors. It is recommended that you stay a minimum of six feet away from any individual with whom you do not reside. Masks are required to enter any structure, including restrooms.
Additionally, PennDOT is adding another fenced-in walk along the falls to safely direct pedestrians and cyclists.
“The best advice I can give to visitors is to look up and be sure to obey orange directional signs, for pedestrians and crossing patterns,” said Bill Beaumariage, project manager at PennDOT.
“With a forecast for nice weather, I’m sure visitors will want to come to the park. With our typically large Memorial Day weekend crowds, we would like to remind everyone to stay aware, stay safe, and be courteous to others,” said Ken Bisbee, park operations manager at Ohiopyle State Park.
For more information about recreation at Ohiopyle State Park, please visit online at www.dcnr.pa.gov
, or contact the park office at 724-329-8591.
Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans
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