Apollo looks to piggyback on the Roaring Run trail
Apollo officials are hoping to add a little piece of the borough to the popular Roaring Run Trail.
They have put into motion a plan to create the Apollo Heritage Bike Path that will begin and end at different points of the Roaring Run Trail.
Apollo Council approved the plan for the bike path as outlined by Rich Craft of Olsen Engineering, the borough's engineer. In addition, it authorized application for a multi-modal transportation grant from the state and committed to providing the 30 percent match required for the grant.
Craft said the bike path would start at North Warren Avenue and North Third Street at the Roaring Run Trail then run through the western side of the borough and reconnect to the trail at South Fourth Street.
“The total project cost we have estimated is about $530,000,” Craft said.
If the multi-modal grant application is approved by the state, Craft said it would contribute around $371,000 to the project. That would leave the borough with $159,000 to come up with for its 30 percent share.
Craft said the life of the grant is three years and the borough can pay its share over that same period to lessen the financial burden, making the payments about $53,000 per year.
He said borough officials had to act since the deadline to file an application for a grant this year is today.
“That whole project would involve signage, street painting, milling the streets and putting down a 1.5-inch (asphalt) overlay,” Craft said. He said that a large portion of the project would be construction of handicap-accessible ramps.
John Kautz, Apollo Council president, said council decided to undertake the project as a way for the borough to take advantage of the traffic generated by the Roaring Run Trail, which is used by hikers and bicyclists from around the Alle-Kiski Valley and Armstrong County.
“Of course, Roaring Run is here and used by people quite a bit and we thought to seek this grant to bring the bicyclists and those that use the Roaring Run trail into the borough,” Kautz said. “It will bring them into the downtown and through the historical area of the borough to what used to be the Women's Christian Temperance Union building on North Second Street, and where the Apollo Historical Society Museum is now, and also past the Drake Log Cabin. Those would be perhaps two attractions that people would be interested in seeing.”
He said officials hope that the bike path will possibly bring some business to the town's stores and restaurants.
Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.