Grant Money to be Used for New Trail

FORTY FORT, Pa. -- A community in Luzerne County was awarded a grant to help complete a walking and bike path for its residents.

The mayor of Forty Fort said the grant was applied for a while ago. The money is the first step in building a trail that would run along the Susquehanna River connecting the community to Kingston and Wilkes-Barre.

The borough of Forty Fort was just awarded a $600,000 grant from the states multimodal transportation fund.

"It's going to make things a little bit safer for people that enjoy walking, biking, hiking, what have you, in the southern part of our town," said Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski.

The biking and walking trail would be about three miles long and would connect a portion of a walkway near East Turner Street in Forty Fort to the area that ends on Church Street in Kingston. The trail would run along portions of the Susquehanna River.

"It is all about the quality of life. We have a beautiful resource right here in our backyard, the Susquehanna River, and a good part of it is inaccessible, and part of our goal for this trail is to improve accessibility," the mayor said.

Right now, pedestrians and bikers have to cross a busy intersection near Welles Street in Forty Fort to get to walking trails near the river.

"It's not very safe. It's kind of narrow and this is going to help get that kind of traffic off of the roadway into a safer area and make the river area," Tuzinski said.

"It would be easier. Like, you know, you could ride on the roads but this time of day, it usually gets busier. If you go out in the morning, then there is less cars on the road," said Angelo Bartolomei, a cyclist from Plains Township.

The project is still in its early stages. The mayor says he still needs about $1 million to complete the project, and he will continue to apply to more grants.

3 comments

  • birdhouse1

    In the interim, why doesn’t Forty Fort provide the simple intermediate solution of painting bike path lanes on River Street, from Rutter Ave to Fort St? River Street seems plenty wide enough to do that.

    • Andy Tuzinski

      Very good question, and I agree, a bike lane on River Street would be great. That said, River Street is a state road, and Forty Fort cannot change the configuration of the road without state approval. The Borough is seeking to make changes to River Street, including the installation of curbing, improved lighting and hopefully a bike lane. Another grant that was awarded to Forty Fort yesterday will provide money to make changes to Rutter Avenue (also a state road) as well. Unfortunately it is not as cut and dried as sending out a crew with some spray cans. But we do have some things in the works, and hope to get some answers/approvals soon.

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