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Harrison considers options for Pittsburgh Heritage Trail through township

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By George Guido
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 12:41 a.m.

Several route options will be available when the Pittsburgh Heritage Trail comes through Harrison Township.

Officials met on Monday with representatives of Friends of the Riverfront to discuss the trail that will wind along the western side of the Allegheny River starting in Pittsburgh and meet subsequent trails in Butler, Westmoreland and Armstrong counties.

The Harrison section will attach to the Brackenridge section along First Avenue, go through the Natrona section of Harrison and through township property near the Lock & Dam No. 4.

That's where the trail becomes tricky.

Organizers are looking at three options to continue the trail northeast from the dam:

• Continue through the Karns section of Harrison along the railroad tracks toward Freeport.

The drawback is the considerable number of trains using the Norfolk Southern tracks.

ATI-Allegheny Ludlum officials told the Harrison contingent that the company might use the railroad more frequently for shipping goods.

Plus, tentative plans are to hook up Freeport Borough's ailing sewerage system with the Upper Allegheny Valley authority, using an area near the rail bed.

• Taking the trial along Spring Hill Road, reducing that artery from four lanes to three, allotting the lane closest to Alsco Park to the trail, then winding the trail along old Route 28.

• Connecting the trial with Harrison Hills Park. But the drop-off between the park and the railroad tracks near Butler Junction is too steep, making it dangerous for families and young children to bicycle the trail.

No final decision has been made.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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