Skyline Drive to close for modern improvement

LOWER ALSACE TWP., Pa. - It's hard to top Skyline Drive. It offers one of the highest views in Berks County. The road is also one of the most treasured, historically, with craftsmanship dating back more than eight decades.

"The stone wall is magnificent," said local historian Corrie Crupi. "It was built during the Great Depression by the WPA workers under the direction of President [Franklin] Roosevelt."

Crupi is also​ chairwoman of Pagoda Skyline Inc. She's going to be closely watching a big project coming to the iconic road.

"I think we're really going to see some nice improvements up here on Skyline Drive," she said.

A nearly $1 million state grant will help reconstruct Skyline Drive, with the goal of creating a safer way to bike and hike.

"We will be creating a nice hiking, walking path that will be separate from the road," said Crupi. "A lot of people like to come up here and enjoy the peace and nice atmosphere on Skyline."

A dry-laid stone wall is in need of some TLC, and if enough money is left over, that too will get a makeover.

"It's deteriorating. Some of the parts are falling off the back of the mountain," said Crupi.

The ball is going to get rolling atop Mount Penn starting on Monday, May 8, with the road being closed from the Pagoda to List Road. Crupi said that, despite all the renovations that'll be happening up there, the wall won't lose its historic value.

"They're going to reinforce not all of it, certain parts, and then use the same stone to build it back up," she said.

Work will continue through at least August.​

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