In Erie, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Carroll Celebrate Start of Bayfront Parkway Improvement Project with Business, Labor, and Local Leaders

The Shapiro Administration announces that construction will start soon on the Bayfront Parkway Improvement Project, a major investment that will support and grow Erie’s local workforce and grow its downtown economy.

Erie, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll joined regional PennDOT, business, labor, and elected leaders to announce the start of a multi-year project to strengthen the connections between the City of Erie and the waterfront along a portion of Lake Erie by improving accessibility and safety for all users within the central corridor of the Bayfront Parkway.

The $111.7 million Bayfront Parkway Central Corridor Improvement Construction Project will improve traffic flow and make the waterfront more accessible from downtown Erie, allowing the city to take advantage of one of its key assets for tourism and economic development. The project will upgrade the pedestrian and bicycle amenities along the roadway between Sassafras Street Extension, State Street, and Holland Street. It will also address motorized traffic and utility needs, as well as create an iconic connection through the construction of a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge at the Holland Street intersection.

“The Bayfront Parkway is a major corridor for tourists and Erie locals alike – it is the gateway to both this beautiful bayfront and Erie’s downtown, which is currently undergoing an incredible economic revitalization. That’s why the Commonwealth is investing more than $37 million to revitalize the Bayfront Parkway,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “As I stand here today, I see one thing very clearly: the future is bright for Erie. You have a rich cultural heritage, a beautiful bayfront, a growing economy, and a downtown corridor that’s being revitalized, and you have in me a Governor who is going to invest, support, and stand up for this region.”

“A project of this significance is possible because of partnerships among the department, federal, state, and local leaders, various authorities and agencies, and private businesses,” PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said. “We’re pleased to deliver this project for the region.”

The project includes several transportation improvements:

“Public involvement for this project started in 2017 and right from that start we heard about the important role this roadway and this connection play in Erie – for those who live, work or visit here,” said PennDOT District 1 Executive Brian McNulty. “This project represents more than six years of design work and a dedication to creating a comprehensive plan to address the mixed uses of the space and the future development plans within the corridor.”

Building on Governor Shapiro’s commitment to growing Pennsylvania’s workforce, a key aspect of the project contract is a commitment by the contractor to hire seven On-the-Job Training Program employees. The program creates a gateway for minority, women, and economically disadvantaged individuals to advance toward journey-level status in highway construction trades. PennDOT is also in the process of hiring several Technical Assistants, which are entry level positions within the Erie County construction inspection team.

These were among the opportunities available during the PA CareerLink Erie County/Oil Region’s Bayfront Construction Career Fair, which drew about 100 candidates to the Erie Center for Arts and Technology on August 15. View current openings with PennDOT and apply online at

“Much like the Convention Center, the Sheraton, and the Courtyard Marriott on the bayfront, this amazing transformation will be made possible on the backs and sweat of building trades union members,” said TJ Sandell, President of the Great Lakes Building and Construction Trades Council. “This project will create beautification, safety, and the overall improvement of infrastructure for the bayfront. Not only will it create these much-needed improvements, but it will also create millions of dollars in wages and benefits for local workers. Wages that feed our families and make our economy grow. Benefits that provide us with healthcare and the ability to retire with dignity. We are very grateful for that. This project will help move Erie into a very bright future by adorning the majesty of our great bayfront.”

The work will be done through a joint venture of Brayman Construction of Pittsburgh and Trumbull Corporation of Pittsburgh. The contract cost is $111,687,766, which will be paid for through a combination of state and federal funds, including nearly $28 million from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“Erie Insurance continues to be an active and collaborative participant, alongside many other organizations and community members, in the Bayfront Parkway Improvement Project. We recognize the importance of creating a stronger connection between Erie’s bayfront and downtown and the positive impact these improvements will have on our community,” said Christina Marsh, Chief Diversity and Community Development Officer of the Erie Insurance Group. “As we look forward to celebrating 100 years in downtown Erie in 2025, our support of this project aligns with our company’s ongoing commitment to creating a vibrant community for all of our citizens— today and in the century ahead.”

Construction will be completed in six phases over approximately four years. It will start at the Sassafras Street Extension intersection soon and is expected to conclude with the construction of the pedestrian bridge at Holland Street. Details on the project phases and work at each intersection are available on the project web page

“On behalf of the City, I want to thank Governor Shapiro, PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll, Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Meredith Biggica, and PennDOT District Executive Brian McNulty for their ongoing commitment to Erie,” said City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember. “The Bayfront Parkway Central Corridor Project is transformational and will help to calm traffic, increase pedestrian access, and reconnect our world-class downtown and Bayfront. A lot of people have contributed to the planning, design, and fundraising for this project over the last nine years. This incredible financial support will enable to us to now move forward with making this project a reality. I look forward to watching the transformation.”

As part of the design process, PennDOT identified several supplemental projects that were done in preparation for work on the Bayfront Parkway central corridor. Those included:

  • Upgrading the traffic lights along the 12th Street (Route 5) Corridor;
  • Constructing a multi-use bridge over the railroad tracks near the Soldiers and Sailors Home; and
  • Installing permanent digital message boards on Interstate 79 near the ramp for 12th Street and at the intersection of 12th Street and Route 290.

The Erie-Western PA Port Authority also completed work along Front Street on the north side of the Bayfront and a trail connection leading from the upper part of Sassafras Street down the bluff to the parkway. In addition, PennDOT plans to award a contract for work on the eastern portion of the Bayfront Parkway (Route 4034) near the intersection with Sixth Street later this year.

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