Public invited to view plans for fairgrounds entrance project

Barbara Miller
Observer Reporter

Washington County commissioners will host a public meeting to present changes proposed for the trolley-stop entrance to the fairgrounds at 6 p.m. Feb. 13, in exhibit hall No. 2.

Because the project includes $750,000 of funding from the state Department of Transportation, a public meeting is required. An additional $400,000 from the Local Share Account from gambling proceeds generated by The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has been earmarked for the work.

This phase of the project will not start until after the annual county fair, scheduled for mid-August.

“Maybe by the public meeting, we’ll have some speculative dates,” said Lisa Cessna, executive director of Washington County Planning Commission.

Work around the fair entrance must also cease during events such as the All-Clad Factory cookware sales, Christmas craft show and special functions planned by Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, which has tracks and a stop at the entrance.

“During major events, people have to be able to park in the field and get in,” Cessna said.

The county expects to advertise for bids in April and award contracts in June or July.

“There will be times that we will have to close the trolley access, but the trolley line has to stay open for major events,” Cessna said, describing the trolley line closures as “intermittent.”

In related matters last week, the board of commissioners awarded a $219,511 contract for paving the bridge on the Hickory Ridge Road side of the fairgrounds to Bioni Drilling Inc. of Lawrence, to be funded from the Act 13 Marcellus Shale extraction impact fee Greenways funds.

The contract states the project must be completed by July 20 so it does not conflict with the opening of the fair.

The board also approved a contract supplement of $27,979 for A&A Consultants Inc. of McKees Rocks to coordinate obtaining permits, staging the public meeting and construction consultation, to be paid with proceeds from the fairgrounds natural gas lease.