WARREN, Pa. — The Allegheny National Forest is pleased to announce that as part of the Great American Outdoors Act four local projects have been selected for fiscal year 2021. The selected projects will be the first round of improvements to address deferred maintenance on the Forest while improving our visitor’s experience.
These projects are part of the $285 million investment made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act. These funds will allow the USDA Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests and grasslands. These funds are critical in helping to reduce the Forest Service’s $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog and are an important step in restoring what our visitors love about national forests in the Eastern Region.
This year’s selected projects at Allegheny National Forest are:
- Longhouse Scenic Drive and Jakes Rocks Road Design – This project will result in full design plans and specifications for phase one of the Longhouse Scenic Drive and Jakes Rocks Road Rehabilitation Project. Three additional phases will comprise the project to repave 14.5 miles of roadway, replace 190 culverts and make public safety improvements. All phases are expected to be completed over the next three to four years.
- Kiasutha Recreation Area Redevelopment – This project includes demolition of three aging restroom buildings, installation of two new vault toilets, wiring electricity to 17 additional campsites and replacing the boat ramp.
- Sugar Run Bridge – This project will replace Sugar Run Bridge located on FR 137 in McKean County. Structural failings have lowered the bridge’s vehicle weight limit to three-tons. The new bridge will allow the resumption of commercial truck traffic. Work is expected to start in late summer and take three to four weeks to complete.
- Trail Deferred Maintenance – Through the employment of American Conservation Experience (ACE) youth crews, this project will complete trail work on the Morrison and Minister Creek Trails.
The Great American Outdoors Act annually authorizes funding under the Legacy Restoration Fund through fiscal year 2025. Forest Service economists estimate that projects funded with these dollars will support roughly 4,400 jobs and contribute $420 million to the gross domestic product.