Skip to main content

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off-and-on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamborees that were held at Moraine State Park - in 1973 and 1977.  The ramps' purpose was to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree was located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write-up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.

You can make out the abandoned ramps in front of the grove of trees. (Adam Prince, 1998)



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right turn from here.)

The benefit of these ramps was to handle the overflow of scouts and other visitors to Moraine State Park during the 1973 and 1977 Jamborees.  Moraine State Park was the eastern jamboree site in 1973 and hosted the entire Jamboree in 1977.  Over 28,000 scouts attended the 1977 jamboree.  So the need to handle the additional traffic is why the ramps were built.  This was due to the lack of direct access to the North Shore of the park from Interstate 79.  The nearby Exit 99 for US 422 is the closest to the park and provides direct access to the South Shore.  However, because of the configuration of the ramps and park service roads, direct access from I-79 or US 422 East was not possible.  The only direct access to the North Shore is via ramps from US 422 West. (See google map below)  The best access to the North Shore of Moraine State Park is via PA 488 three miles to the South via Exit 96.



Fortunately, there have been new developments in providing direct access to the North Shore of Moraine State Park from Interstate 79 and US 422 West.  In July 2017, construction began on a 15-month project that will build new ramps along US 422 East and Westbound to allow for direct access to the North Shore of the park via West Park Road.  The new US 422 interchange will allow I-79 traffic to use Exit 99 as the gateway for direct access to all points within Moraine State Park. This project will also include improvements to the Interstate 79/US 422 interchange (Exit 99).  The cost of the project is $4.5 million. (1)

Site Navigation:
Sources & Links:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Bayshore Freeway (US Route 101)

The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963.   Part 1; the history of the Bayshore Freeway Prior the creation of the Bayshore Highway corridor the most commonly used highway between San Jose and San Francisco was El Camino Real (alternatively known as Peninsula Highway).  The  American El Camino Real  began as an early example of a signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  The era of State Highway Mainte

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 41 through Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a city located on the Salinas River of San Luis Obispo County, California.  As originally configured the surface alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 converged in downtown Paso Robles.  US Route 101 originally was aligned through Paso Robles via Spring Street.  California State Route 41 entered the City of Paso Robles via Union Road and 13th Street where it intersected US Route 101 at Spring Street.  US Route 101 and California State Route 41 departed Paso Robles southbound via a multiplex which split near Templeton.   Pictured above is the cover of the September/October 1957 California Highways & Public Works which features construction of the Paso Robles Bypass.  Pictured below is the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County which depicts US Route 101 and California State Route 41 intersecting in downtown Paso Robles.   Part 1; the history of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 in Paso Robles Paso Robles ("Pass of the

Paper Highways; US Route 20 Alternate over Teton Pass

The 8,431-foot-high Teton Pass lies in the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains within Teton County, Wyoming.  Presently Teton Pass is crossed by Wyoming Highway 22 and Idaho State Highway 33.  At one point the highway over Teton Pass was signed as US Route 20 Alternate.  US Route 20 Alternate was over Teton Pass never formally approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials nor has the corridor ever been officially part of a US Route.  The image above was taken from the 1949 Rand McNally Map of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana which shows US Route 20 Alternate branching from US Route 20/US Route 191 near Sugar City, Idaho and crossing Teton Pass towards Jackson, Wyoming.   Part 1; the history of US Route 20 Alternate over Teton Pass No major Auto Trail was ever assigned to Teton Pass as evidenced by the 1925 Rand McNally Map of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming .  On the Wyoming side Teton Pass can be seen as part of Wyoming Highway 25 ("WY 25") whereas no State Highway is