McKeesport does its part in making Great Allegheny Passage complete
Grand opening for the final mile of Pittsburgh's portion of the Great Allegheny Passage is set for the weekend, and McKeesport is doing its part to make the trail more navigable.
Saturday's ceremony will celebrate the completion of the link between Pittsburgh's and the Steel Valley's trail systems. McKeesport is putting the final touches on the section that runs through the city, which provides a direct route between the Marina at McKees Point and RIDC Riverplace Industrial Center.
“It looks spectacular and I'm excited that it's finished,” McKeesport Trail Commission president Linda Brewster said. “The bikers coming through the city have a clear pathway that they can see and they won't be confused.”
When cyclists began traveling local sections of the Great Allegheny Passage early in its development, McKeesport was a rough patch between Elizabeth Township and the Steel Valley.
With support from Steel Valley organizers, the Regional Trail Corp. and the Allegheny Trail Alliance, McKeesport Trail Commission made improvements over the years.
Connecting the trail that runs along the Youghiogheny River to the trail that runs behind the the industrial center and over the Riverton Bridge into Duquesne was a hot topic last summer.
that's when the Regional Trail Corp. secured a $100,000 Community Infrastructure Tourism grant and supplemental funding, which were redirected to the city for work that was finished last week.
“I'm grateful to Mayor (Michael) Cherepko for working with the trail commission to get this done before this weekend's celebration,” Brewster said. “It's a wonderful feeling to see bikers come through our city and they actually find their way.”
Prior to this summer's project, cyclists shared the road with motor vehicles downtown, then linked with the RIDC trail.
Since city public works crews have paved Water Street, the Memorial Lot and Fourth Avenue — and an outside contractor painted lanes for bicycle traffic – cyclists have a direct route of roughly 3,000 feet between the marina and RIDC park.
Allegheny Trail Alliance president Linda McKenna Boxx described the route as an economical improvement that is “the right way to get through McKeesport.”
“It looks beautiful,” Boxx said. “It's such a great improvement, and the trail is as good as it's going to be. I can't imagine a better solution.”
Cherepko said he's had positive feedback from trail officials as well as riders from across the country.
“This is another draw that's bringing people to McKeesport and to our beautiful marina,” the mayor said.
Brewster said McKeesport will continue to improve accommodations as traffic increases.
“We're not finished,” she said. “We want to make this a better place for bikers to come, enjoy themselves and stay overnight.”
With grant funds and city support, McKeesport Trail Commission is working to transform a concession area into a hostel.
New signs are on the way to direct bicycle traffic toward the improved route.
“Once those signs are in, public parking will be eliminated behind Kennedy Park, and (Fourth Avenue) traffic behind the public safety building will be limited to Daily News customers and individuals utilizing the public safety building,” Cherepko explained. “It will be a westbound share of the road for bicycles and limited motor vehicle traffic.”
Great Allegheny Passsage maps are available at the McKeesport Trail Commission kiosk at the Marina at McKees Point.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shoppers vexed by choice between getting best bargains, spending time with family
- Clairton waits for legal opinion on tax resolution
- Former Clairton resident killed
- McKeesport Area, South Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward musicians head to holiday parades
- Lost election inspires South Allegheny student’s clothing project
- Casey supports food donation tax break extension
- McKeesport’s Sixth Grade Academy work reported on schedule
- Firefighters douse blaze at abandoned McKeesport house
- Holiday tradition continues as Mon Yough Catholic students, Kane McKeesport seniors mingle
- Vigil walk to help finish Noah’s Ark
- Membership fees predicted for continued Heritage van use in the Mon Valley