Grant to fund Cranberry trail expansion

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Cranberry residents will have plenty more room to roam on the trail at Graham Park because of a $90,000 grant issued by Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that will allow for an extra 2.15 miles to be added.

The new section of the trail will span all the way from Rochester Road to Powell Road.

The engineering department is currently working with the Department of Environmental Protection to receive a permit allowing the construction.

The project is expected to be finished within two years but Chelsea Puff, the community projects administrator for Cranberry, said “hopefully sooner.”

Puff noted that the number one thing that residents requested during the initial phases of Cranberry's Recreation and Open Space Plan was a lack of walking trails that link key destinations.

Surveys were sent out to all of the homeowners in the township and the results revealed that the top three requests were all related to trails and ways that pedestrians could travel throughout the community.

While township officials knew that pedestrian connections were a desire for residents, the survey results were a bit more eye-opening.

“We saw what a high priority it really was for the community,” Puff said.

This addition will aid in a long-term effort with Marshall Township to connect several areas to each other.

Puff said that much further down the line, it will make sense to connect the trail to New Sewickley but no plans have been made to do so yet.

The new trail also ties into the bicycle and pedestrian connections plan, Puff said, which prioritizes the ability for bicyclists and pedestrians to traverse the community without a motor vehicle.

As part of the construction of the trail, Cranberry is required to match the amount given by the grant. This amount was budgeted as part of the 2013 expenditures.

While horses and motor vehicles will not be allowed to cruise the new asphalt, walkers, bikers, joggers, and rollerblade enthusiasts are welcome to enjoy the scenic route that generally follows the Brush Creek alignment.

Matthew DeFusco is an intern with Trib Total Media.

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