Over $3M in state grants awarded for area infrastructure and park projects

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected] | November 14th, 2017 1:59 pm - updated: 9:06 pm.

The state will provide more than $3.3 million in funding for local infrastructure and public park improvement projects.

Area lawmakers Tuesday announced the awards through the Multimodal Transportation Fund and the Act 13 or natural gas impact fee programs.

The largest award, a $2 million Multimodal Transportation Fund grant, will be used for the construction of access roads to approximately 400 acres of formerly mine-scarred land reclaimed by Earth Conservancy for the South Valley Parkway.

The parkway, estimated to cost $83 million, is designed to alleviate congestion and improve safety on a 2-mile stretch of Middle Road. The project includes six roundabouts in Hanover Township and Nanticoke, plus a beltway connecting Route 29 and Interstate 81 with Kosciuszko Street near Luzerne County Community College.

State Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, said the Earth Conservancy properties can be put to use for additional economic development and conservation projects.

“Strategic public investments in infrastructure like the South Valley Parkway and its access points have already leveraged over $100 million in private investment, from companies like Northpoint, that will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs in the South Valley and along the I-81 corridor,” Yudichak said in a statement.

Earth Conservancy’s president and CEO, Mike Dziak, thanked Yudichak and state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, and the Commonwealth Financing Authority for their help with the funding.

”We appreciate how they see the importance of our work and back our efforts to bring environmental and economic revitalization to the communities we serve,” Dziak said in a statement.

Mullery added:“Earth Conservancy has been the leader in improving mine- scarred lands and turning them into economic development opportunities across the region.”

Other Multimodal Transportation Fund grant awards:

• $503,288 to Wilkes University for pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements along Northampton Street in Edwardsville.

• $167,995 for intersection improvements at Eighth Street and Susquehanna Avenue in Wyoming.

The Act 13 funded projects:

• $299,999 to replace a section of the retaining wall along Solomon Creek in Wilkes-Barre.

• $75,000 for improvements to Weissman Park in Wilkes-Barre.

• $25,000 for Phase II improvements at Baltimore Avenue Park in West Pittston.

• $155,355 for improvements at Romanoskey Park in Larksville.

• $165,000 for improvements at Hazle Township Community Park in Hazle Township.

State Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and Aaron Kaufer, R-Kingston, also helped to secure the funding.


By Jerry Lynott

[email protected]

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.