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Multi-million dollar project to connect Fort Hunter Park to Capital Area Greenbelt, improve safety

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - What some say are long overdue improvements to the Capital Area Greenbelt are now in the beginning stages. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Fort Hunter Park in Susquehanna Township.

"Some would say it's 30 years in the making," said Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste. "Some would say it's over 100 years in the making."

Right now, anyone wanting to ride from an area on the Capital Area Greenbelt, like Wildwood Park, to Fort Hunter Park would have to ride with traffic. This $7.5 million project will improve the safety for bikers along several roadways. North Front Street from Linglestown Road to the Rockville Bridge will go from four lanes to two lanes with a center turn lane, and an addition of a 10-foot Fort Hunter connector trail.

"People who want to ride the Greenbelt and come up to Fort Hunter and see the events and then ride back to wherever they go," said Barry Schoch, Capital Area Greenbelt Association President. "They can do that safely."

Several other safety improvements to the Capital Area Greenbelt are included in the project. Warning lights are added to the intersection of North Front and Vaughn Streets, making it easier for walkers and bikers using the Greenbelt to cross. Beyond safety, the project is expected to have an economic impact to the area.

"We compete, regions compete for employers and for people and if you provide amenities like this, that people say, 'I like living in Harrisburg because I can ride my bike up to Fort Hunter,'" said Schoch. "It's really about saying this is a region that provides amenities that make it an attractive place to live and work."

With part of the project already underway, it is expected to be fully complete in 2019.