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«PENNSYLVANIA TRAILS ADVISORY COMMITTEE Western terminus of the recently completed Great Allegheny Passage, Pittsburgh Year 2013 Annual Report ...»

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Fell Township Bridge Redecking Project - Lackawanna Heritage Valley acquired a 1-mile gap in the D&H Rail-Trail that contained three old railroad bridges. The bridge decks were in poor condition and needed to be replaced. The one mile of trail corridor was narrowing due to overgrowth of vegetation. The bridges were re-decked with concrete, and railings, seating, and gates were added. Lackawanna Heritage Valley and Rail-Trail Council of NEPA partnered with the local snowmobile club, PA Sno Trails, who provided volunteer labor to clear the overgrowth and open the trail corridor.

Sponsors: Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority Submitted by: Natalie Gelb, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority West End Regional Park Project Location: Monroe County, Chestnuthill Township Description: The West End Park and Open Space Commission completed a ¾-mile shared-use trail at the new West End Regional Park. The trail, parking lot and pavilion is the first phase of a multiphase project to develop the 244-acre park.

Completion of phase one is an important step in raising awareness and building support for phase two which includes athletic fields and additional parking.

Sponsors: West End Park and Open Space Commission

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D&L Trail – Black Diamond Section Project Locations: Luzerne County, Middleburg Road to Black Diamond Trailhead Description: The 9.7 miles of the Black Diamond section of the Delaware and Lehigh (D&L) Trail along with the new Black Diamond Trailhead and connector trail near White Haven in Luzerne County is the D&L’s largest trail project to date. This section of D&L Trail is not adjacent to the Lehigh or Delaware rivers. Built on the old Lehigh Valley Railroad bed, it meanders through the woods, passing wildlife, lakes, ponds and overlooks into the Wyoming Valley.

During the 2013 construction season, an 8.1-mile section of trail from Middleburg Road to the new Black Diamond Trailhead was led by the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association and the DCNR Bureau of Forestry.

Projects planned for the next two to three years include the Middleburg Road pedestrian crossing and several miles of trail between Allentown and Northampton, all of which are gaps identified in the Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan.

Sponsors: Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, PennDOT, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Submitted by: H. Scott Everett, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor New markers were installed on a recently constructed Black Diamond section of the D & L Trail.

Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails Project Locations: Luzerne County, Stockton Description: This video shows the placement of the Ashmore Pedestrian Bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad outside Stockton, Pa. on mile 4 of the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails.

The bridge opened an additional 3 miles of trail.

Sponsors: Luzerne County Submitted by: Lorne Possinger, DCNR

Use the following link to see the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmGZfmHnz7w Chester Valley Trail – Phase 2 Project Location: Chester County, East Whiteland and Tredyffrin townships; Montgomery County, Upper Merion Township Description: Chester County constructed a 7-mile Phase 2 section of the Chester Valley Trail from Route 29 in Malvern east into Montgomery County, Pa. The multi-use rail to trail project was constructed with Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Funding and connects to the 4-mile Chester Valley Trail Phase 1 project, which was opened in the fall of 2010.

This trail construction project included the installation Installation of the trail bridge over Valley Forge Road of two new pedestrian bridges over state roadways, a pedestrian culvert under a township road, the rehabilitation of a stone arch stream culvert, the replacement of a failing stone arch culvert with a precast concrete box culvert, and a new trailhead parking area off of Warner Road in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County.

Sponsors: Chester County Submitted by: David T. Stauffer, Chester County Department of Facilities and Parks

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Delaware & Lehigh Canal Trail - Route 13 Passageways Project Location: Bucks County, Tullytown Description: The Delaware and Lehigh Canal trail is planned as a continuous trail from Bristol to Morrisville.

In 2013, one of the five major gaps in the trail was filled when safe passage was constructed at a dangerous crossing on PA Route 13, a limited access highway that created a difficult barrier for people using the trail.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) completed the installation of two tunnels, a section of trail linking the two tunnels, drainage improvements, and landscaping.

Elissa Garofalo, president of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, said, “The passageway resolves one of the most critical gaps for long-distance travel on the D&L Trail and Philadelphia’s regional trail network.” When the four remaining obstacles or impediments are removed, the finished trail will connect Bristol Borough to the rest of the towpath.

Sponsors: PennDOT Submitted by: Silas Chamberlin, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Andy Hamilton, East Coast Greenway Alliance The D&L Canal Trail at Route 13 French Creek Heritage Trail Project Location: Chester County, East Pikeland Township Description: In 1982, French Creek was designated a Scenic River in East Pikeland Township and five other townships upstream. The creation of a 2 mile trail along French Creek showcases the natural beauty of the corridor. Historic features enhance its scenic quality, most notably at Rapps Dam and Hares Hill historic bridges and at Snyder's Mill. Ruins of buildings, walls and mill races lend interest to the area near Rapps Dam, and historic archways can be viewed in three places along the former Pickering Valley Railroad grade. Long and scenic views of the creek are common along the trail.

The trail provides a safe location for families, fitness enthusiasts and those seeking a connection with nature.

Walkers and bikers are separated from vehicular traffic.

French Creek is designated a trout fishing area; it is a popular destination, stocked during the fishing season, and French Creek Heritage Trail pedestrian bridge near access is easy. Rapp’s Dam The trail reconnects people to the outdoors, facilitates a healthy lifestyle, and provides an economic benefit to the area. The historic aspects of the trail draw tourism to the region and link to historic Kimberton Village.

Additionally, open space was acquired and preserved as part of the trail initiative.

The French Creek Heritage Trail is managed by East Pikeland Township and made possible through grants from DCNR and Chester County. The township's Historical Commission and Park & Recreation Board played significant roles in development of the trail. Portions of the trail have been blazed as Eagle Scout projects. In addition to the recreational opportunities available to trail users, the historic significance of the area is highlighted through a series of interpretive signs placed along the trail. The two historic bridges serve as the trailheads. The trail can be accessed from Rapps Dam Road, at the covered bridge, where parking is available.

Sponsor: East Pikeland Township, Chester County and DCNR Submitted by: Kim Moretti, Township Manager 202 Parkway Project Location: Bucks and Montgomery counties, between Montgomeryville and Doylestown Description: The Route 202 Parkway is a new roadway with a separate 12-foot-wide paved trail. It greatly enhances travel between Montgomeryville and Doylestown. It replaces the existing Route 202 alignment which experienced congestion for decades.

The project extends over 8 miles (partially in Bucks County and Montgomery County). This $200 million state-funded project is maintained by PennDOT.

The Parkway project is unique in that it includes the trail, extensive split rail fencing, landscaping, park and ride lots and other aesthetic elements. It contains limited access to the roadway with a few overpasses, though most intersections along it are signalized at grade crossings.

The alignment of the road was established to provide scenic vistas and minimize the impact to the 202 Parkway Trail in Montgomery Township local communities and natural environment.

Montgomery County Planning Commission was involved in the various aspects of the design of the road and trail system. The roadway alignment is depicted in the county comprehensive plan. The 202 trail is also considered as part of the county trail system endorsed by the comprehensive plan, though the county has no maintenance or monitoring responsibilities for it.

Sponsor: Montgomery County and PennDOT Submitted by: Leo Bagley, Montgomery County Planning Commission Connect the Circuit Project Location: Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties Description: The Circuit is Greater Philadelphia's multi-use, regional trail network, covering five counties in Pennsylvania and four in New Jersey. When completed, the Circuit will comprise 750 miles of trails.

Currently, 283 miles of trails are built and in use. Thirty-three miles were added between May 2012 and November 2013. Currently, a number of projects within the nine counties have 29 additional miles of trails under construction.

The Circuit will help connect people to jobs, recreational opportunities, public transportation and other neighborhoods, and will serve as a gateway to open green space. Support of The Circuit is being led by The Circuit Coalition, a group of over 30 nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies working together to raise the profile of this regional trail network, and educate people about the benefits an increased trail network will bring to the region.

The Circuit Coalition is working to secure funding from both the Commonwealth and New Jersey to replenish the Regional Trail Fund to continue making progress toward building out at least 20 miles of trails annually.

Currently, the Circuit Coalition is running the Circuit Commitment campaign to secure $10 million in dedicated funding for the Regional Trail Fund for the years 2014-2016. The Circuit is listed as a major regional Bicycle Pedestrian project in the 2040 Connections Plan recently developed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Sponsor: The Circuit Coalition Submitted by: Sarah Clark Stuart, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia Port Richmond Trail – North Delaware Riverfront Greenway Project Location: Philadelphia Description: The 1.6-mile Port Richmond Trail extends from Monkiewicz Playground at Richmond Street and Allegheny Avenue to Delaware Avenue at Lewis Street in the City of Philadelphia.

The Port Richmond Trail is the second section of the 11-mile North Delaware Riverfront Greenway Trail to be constructed as part of the East Coast Greenway. The Delaware River City Corporation (DRCC) worked with the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Streets and others to design and construct the Port Richmond Trail. DRCC envisions a revitalized riverfront with a broad diversity of uses, including a prominent greenway with publicly accessible parks and open space, a continuous recreational trail, thriving businesses and industry, new residential communities, green connector streets to the adjacent neighborhoods, and an ecologically restored riverbank.

The trail traverses a working waterfront. Up to 25 feet of paving was removed from the cartways of Delaware and Allegheny avenues to accommodate the multi-use trail and landscape, resulting in a net reduction of 2 acres of impervious surfaces and the installation of over 200 trees, 250 shrubs and 1,500 native grasses. The Port Richmond Trail is a local trail segment of the Circuit, greater Philadelphia’s regional trail network. It provides connection from the Port Richmond neighborhood west of I-95 to the only local access point on the Delaware River, Pulaski Park. Response to the trail has been very positive. An unsafe environment for bicycles and pedestrians has been transformed to an inviting landscaped trail corridor.

Sponsors: DCNR, Delaware River City Corporation, East Coast Greenway, City of Philadelphia, William Penn Foundation and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Submitted by: Jim Fries, Project Manager, Delaware River City Corporation Bicyclists heading to Port Richmond from Pulaski Park Darby Creek Trail Project Location: Delaware County, Haverford Township Description: The Darby Creek Trail follows the creek from Merry Place, a handicapped-accessible park, to West Chester Pike in Delaware County. The portion in Haverford Township is 3 miles, running along the western edge of the township. The trail connects Merry Place to Haverford Reserve, a 169-acre community park where the former Haverford State Hospital was located. The trail is included in the Delaware County Bike Plan. In 2013 Haverford Township constructed a 10-foot-wide hard surface along the center 1-mile portion of the trail, using a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

The trail is hugely popular. It allows greater access to the area along the creek, and residents of all ages and abilities enjoy the trail. In addition, the trail has generated interest in the creek and awareness of the importance of the watershed. Dog walkers, bike riders, joggers, anglers, bird watchers and hikers have come to enjoy the benefits of this valuable resource.

Sponsors: Haverford Township and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Submitted by: Tim Denny, Haverford Township People of all ages and abilities enjoy using the Darby Creek Trail Regional Trails Program Project Location: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties Description: In November 2013, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), Greater Philadelphia's metropolitan planning organization, announced the third round of funding of the agency's Regional Trails Program. Since 2011, The Regional Trails Program, administered by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, with funding from the William Penn Foundation, has provided over $9 million in grants for targeted, priority trail design, construction, and planning projects to promote a truly connected, regional network of multi-use trails in Greater Philadelphia.

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