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Westmoreland Heritage Trail 3rd phase ready for traffic after storm cleanup

Patrick Varine
| Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 12:36 p.m.
Above, volunteers work to clear debris from the Westmoreland Heritage Trail in the wake of an Aug. 22, 2017, microburst that caused damage in some parts of western Westmoreland County.
Submitted photo
Above, volunteers work to clear debris from the Westmoreland Heritage Trail in the wake of an Aug. 22, 2017, microburst that caused damage in some parts of western Westmoreland County.

A damaging Aug. 22 microburst storm came at the wrong time for Westmoreland Heritage Trail officials, who are preparing for grand openings next weekend at three trailheads along the third phase of the trail.

“There's been a lot of additional maintenance over the past few weeks,” said trail board member Stan Rudge of Jeannette. “We had to clean some of that up.”

Aside from storm-related cleanup, other trappings for the Turtle Creek extension of the trail are all in place.

“All of the road crossings are in now with proper signage, and there will be more signs and gates to prevent vehicles from crossing the trail,” Rudge said. “There have been new restrooms added at Murrysville, Saunders Station in Monroeville and Trafford.”

Grand opening celebrations will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 at the Roberts parcel, adjacent to Airgas on Route 22 in Murrysville; 11:15 a.m. at the Saunders Station Road trail access in Monroeville; and noon at the Trafford trail access near the Parkside Creamery and B-Y Park. Times are approximate because officials will be traveling from trailhead to trailhead.

“These communities have been looking forward to this section of the trail for quite a while,” Rudge said. “The other thing that's really great in my opinion is that it's a cross-county celebration. Monroe‑ville has been very supportive of this whole effort.”

The next phase will be to undertake engineering work on 3.7 miles extending from the Murrysville access point into downtown Export, where borough officials have renovated and restored the former Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad caboose.

For details, visit Westmore­land County's trail website at http://co.westmoreland.pa.us/1010/Westmoreland-Heritage-Trail.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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