– Professional divers took to the waters of the Youghiogheny River on Wednesday morning to remove debris that inevitably accumulated in the river over the course of the recent multimodal project at Ohiopyle State Park. This effort was coordinated by concerned community organizations, including the office of Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (District 12), Ohiopyle State Park and the Mountain Watershed Association.
“I am happy to see that the completion of this cleanup will result is a safer river for park goers and boaters,” said Dowling. “Since my office first received word of the construction remains found in the river, we have worked with the park, PennDOT and others to see that the issue was resolved.”
Kenneth Bisbee, park operations manager of Ohiopyle State Park, explains that the cleanup following the multimodal project has been a multifaceted effort. PennDOT, Plum Construction (who were contractors for the project), the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps and the park all joined in a five-day cleanup following the project’s wrap in July. Periodic run-throughs to collect debris have been performed, by both the park and others, since then.
“Much appreciation is also due to local boaters, outfitters and the Mountain Watershed Association for the many impromptu cleanups since July. As a steward of the resources within Ohiopyle State Park, it is very gratifying to see how many people appreciate and respect the river and are willing to do what it takes to keep it clean and safe,” Bisbee said.
“PennDOT is grateful for all the efforts of so many caring people throughout this project,” said Bill Beaumariage, assistance district executive at PennDOT District 12. “We are humbled at the beauty of this area and hope the improvements will enhance the visitors’ experience while also making it safer. We want to thank our partners who helped to deliver this project, and we are proud to turn these improvements over to the public to enjoy for years to come.”
The cleanup was handled by professional contractors Skelly and Loy, Inc.
“We are always pleased to assist PennDOT on environmental projects and cleanup, and fully understand the importance of projects such as the Ohiopyle Reconstruction. We felt the clean-up went very smoothly and the debris collection effort went off without a hitch,” a representative from Skelly and Loy said.
Representative Matt Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans