Project Access York maps, information provided at public open house; comment period remains open

YORK – An open house was held this week at the Holthus Convention Center, during which detailed maps were provided regarding the proposed route and plans for Project Access York, a federally-funded endeavor which would extend the trail system in York.

The open house drew hundreds of interested residents, as this was the first time to see the minute details on very large maps of where trails, pedestrian and bike routes are proposed to be located.

Engineers were present to discuss the proposed design with attendees, as many had questions about how their properties might be impacted.

A small group of people in attendance were heard wondering if the nearly $16 million federal grant could be used in other ways in the city – such as fixing streets or paying off municipal debt on other projects that are already underway. The answer is no – this federal grant money was awarded specifically for this particular type of project; it cannot be used for municipal operations, street repair or other ongoing projects. As said by city administration officials, “York was awarded $15,625,000 for about nine miles of trails and a pedestrian overpass bridge” in the interchange area.

The bridge is slated to be built over Highway 81, stretching from the area by McDonald’s to the area by Wendy’s.

Other attendees were heard wondering how they will know if their property will be subject to new right-of-way, permanent and/or temporary easements. The city administration has said “if your property is impacted by this project, you will be contacted by a representative once the design footprint has been established.”

Some in attendance asked how this project “suddenly emerged without warning” in the last few months, with engineers noting the grant was awarded and announced in 2022, with the first public open house held in March of 2023 during which initial concepts for the trail routes and location of the overpass were shared for the public’s review and feedback.

And some noted they were happy to see some changes have been made to the routes compared to what they originally thought was being proposed. Engineers said “yes, the team has been working to refine the initial concepts based on factors including public input, construction cost and existing environmental conditions.”

What’s next?

The city offers the following timeline:

  • The public comment period will remain open until June 12. To provide comments, questions, concerns and support, interested persons should go to https://cityofyork.socs.net/vnews/display.v/SEC/Project%20Access%20York%7CComment%20Form to provide their thoughts. The public input provided through this web form and emails to scrawford@cityofyork.net will be combined with the feedback collected during this week’s open house. The public input will be collected into a report which will be submitted to the city, state and the federal government. Copies of the report will be made available on the city website.
  • The “documentation and approval” process will be ongoing between June and October.
  • Right-of-way appraisals, negotiations and acquisitions are to be considered between November and April of 2026.
  • The right-of-way purchases and 60% of the design will be up for approval in December of this year.
  • The final design will be submitted in June of 2026.
  • Project letting is tentatively scheduled for August of 2026.
  • And construction is tentatively scheduled for 2027 and 2028.

Meanwhile, again, the current comment period is an important part of this process. As stated earlier, the comment period remains open until June 12, during which members of the public can state their comments, questions, concerns, support, etc. And, again, as stated, the public input will be collected into a report to be submitted to the city, state and federal agencies.

 

 

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