PA 290
Bayfront Parkway

Pennsylvania's only Great Lake port is not only for industrial uses, but also tourism.  The longest stretch of beaches in the Commonwealth can be found here as well as points of interest such as the US Brig Niagara.  The problem was how to develop the waterfront and connect it to the main travel routes around Erie.

While talk of building an access road stretch back to the 1960s, it wouldn't be until 1988 when a delegation from Erie would meet with PennDOT District Engineer Jack Baker to urge for it's creation.  Their words would not fall on deaf ears as construction began in 1989 on the section from Interstate 79 to State Street.  The first section to open was from Greengarden Road to State Street in 1991.  Two years later the segment between I-79 and Greengarden Road opened.  In 1994, construction began from State Street to Parade Street which opened a year later.  Also in 1995, the name was changed from Bayfront Highway to Bayfront Parkway.  Construction began in 1996 from Parade Street to East Avenue and opened in 1997.  In 1998, construction began on the connection to Interstate 90 from Parade Street to Alternate PA 5 which opened in 2000 and is called the Bayfront Connector.

In 2002, construction began from Alternate PA 5 to PA 5 which finished the following year.  In 2004, construction began on the last segment of the Bayfront Connector from there to PA 430 and opened in 2005, wrapping up the $180 million project.  This section includes the $31 million, 1,100-foot-long Sergeant Donald S. Oakes Memorial Bridge over Wintergreen Gorge, which is the second-highest and second-longest bridge in northwestern Pennsylvania.

While not a limited-access highway, the Bayfront Parkway and Connector do provide smoother connections into downtown Erie and the lakefront.

Bayfront Parkway Map
PA 290
Seaway Trail - Pennsylvania Byways
Bayfront Parkway Pictures - Doug Kerr

Western Terminus: I-79 at Exit 183 in Erie
Eastern Terminus: PA 430 one mile east of Brookside
Length: 8.90 miles
National Highway System: I-79 to US 20
Names: Bayfront Parkway
Bayfront Connector
Bayfront Highway
SR Designations: 4034:  I-79 to Lincoln Avenue and McClelland Avenue to PA 5
0290:  PA 5 to PA 430
County: Erie
Multiplexed Routes: None
Former Designations: None
Pennsylvania Byway
Pennsylvania Byway:
I-79 to Alternate PA 5
Seaway Trail
Seaway Trail:
I-79 to Alternate PA 5

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Page updated May 01, 2020.
Content and graphics, unless otherwise noted, copyright Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.
Seaway Trail shield courtesy of Seaway Trail, Inc.
Information courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Erie Times-News.