The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation proposed improvements to a 0.7 mi section of SR 4009 (Business Route 220) that carried traffic between the historic Bedford Springs Hotel and Shober’s Run, (High Quality – Cold Water Fishery and Approved Trout Waters). The project addressed current and future design, safety, and traffic concerns associated with the original roadway, which made a series of sharp bends at the north end of the project, resulting in poor sight distances and substandard roadway conditions. With the current location and configuration of the highly traveled roadway, the Historic District / National Historic Landmark risked damage. This section of SR 4009 was relocated to the west of, and behind, the hotel and out of the Shober’s Run floodplain.
The improvements project provided a Net Benefit to the Bedford Springs Historic District/National Historic Landmark by reducing traffic and the associated noise, complementing the restoration of the hotel complex, and providing additional mitigation measures including landscaping immediately adjacent to Nawgel’s Mill; interpretative signs at the mill and Miller’s House; artifact display case at an appropriate location within the hotel; and education materials for distribution by the hotel and Bedford Springs Historical Society.
L.R. Kimball completed the first Nationwide/Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation for Transportation Projects that have Net Benefit within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued this nationwide programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation “for use in certain Federal transportation improvement projects where the use of publicly owned park, recreation area, or wildlife and water fowl refuge or property from a historic site results in a net benefit to the Section 4(f) property. The application of this programmatic evaluation is intended to promote environmental stewardship by encouraging the development of measures that enhance Section 4(f) properties.” (Federal Register/Vol.70, No. 75/ Wednesday, April 20, 2005) The Net Benefit Evaluation was encompassed within an Individual Section 4(f) Evaluation for the Bedford Springs Transportation Improvement Project.
This project was identified as a key element for the restoration of the Bedford Springs Hotel. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and National Park Service (NPS) acknowledged the benefits of relocating this high-speed, heavily traveled portion of SR 4009 (from within the Historic District/National Historic Landmark) to re-establish the historic quality and functions of the property absent a through-road that bisected it.
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