In an attempt to reduce crashes, decrease congestion and increase traffic operations, PennDOT has began work on a multi-year project.

By 2027, the connection between downtown Erie and the waterfront is expected to improve.

A little over a month ago, Governor Josh Shapiro announced the $111.7 million Bayfront Parkway Improvement Project. Preliminary work of the first phase has now begun.

“The contractor is trying to get all the materials that they need in order for them to work to be completed. There’s a lot of logistics and initial things that need to be set up with the project and they are kind of working through that,” said Justin Baker, construction project manager for PennDOT.

Travelers can expect to see physical work around the Bayfront by Oct. 31.

Although the winter season is approaching, Baker said there is still a fair amount of work that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) can do during those months.

“We’re not going to have any long-term restrictions for traffic on the Bayfront or any of the side streets throughout the duration of winter. Most of the work that they are going to be doing is going to be visible from the Bayfront, but we’re not going to have any impact on traffic,” he explained.

Baker said construction will be in a good place for the spring if they stay on schedule. The average daily traffic across the Bayfront is 22,700.

According to the press officer, during the design process PennDOT received a wide range of comments due to how many people use that area.

“This project is an attempt to balance all of those comments and try to create a roadway that serves all of those different types of users,” said Jill Harry, press officer, PennDOT.

PennDOT is partnering with the Blasco Library for those who want to stay updated on project but don’t have access to internet.

“We have a little information down there now and as the project progresses were going to continue to update that information,” Harry said. “It’s just right in the front door, a little display where they can find some of this information about the project.”