Gov. Tom Wolf and state Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards on Friday announced funding for 37 highway, bridge, bike and pedestrian projects, including one in Centre County.
Multimodal Transportation Fund grants from PennDOT totaling $40 million will be provided to make these plans reality, according to a press release from Wolf’s office and PennDOT.
State College borough will receive $100,000 for the construction of a pedestrian island at the intersection of Park Avenue and McKee Street, according to the release.
The island is intended to provide safer crossing at the intersection for cyclists and pedestrians, according to the release. It will also meet the accessibility needs of residents who are visually impaired.
Courtney Hayden, the borough’s communications coordinator, said construction will hopefully begin in May after Penn State’s spring semester is over.
It should be a short summer project, said Hayden, who helped with the grant application.
The intersection currently has a flashing light and is marked as a bike crossing (the intersection is a crossing for multiple bike paths), she said.
The project has been in the borough’s capital improvement plan for years, Hayden said.
The idea to add an island to the intersection was prompted by a visually impaired citizen, whose guide dog wouldn’t cross the street without a clear view of no oncoming vehicles, Hayden said.
The island would reduce the time to get to a safe place , allowing citizens with visual impairments to wait less time to cross the street, she said.
Hayden said the Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA wrote a letter of support to go along with the grant application.
In February, a man was struck by a vehicle and killed while crossing East Park Avenue at McKee Street.
This might seem like a small amount of money compared to the total $40 million given out by the state, Hayden said, but projects like this one really matter to the community.
Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619; @SarahRafacz