Second phase of trail project could begin this year
An extension that will connect the Delmont area to Slickville along the Westmoreland Heritage Trail might be open as soon as next summer, but it likely will be several more years until the trail reaches its planned terminus in Trafford.
Construction on the trail's second segment, which will stretch 3.7 miles southwest from Route 819 in Slickville to Route 66 north of Delmont, could begin in early October, said Malcolm Sias, project manager for the nonprofit Regional Trail Corp.
The estimated $1.5 million phase could be completed as early as next June. The second phase will open a nearly nine-mile path near the route of the Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad from Delmont to Saltsburg and a connection to the 17-mile West Penn Trail in Indiana County.
One of the main attributes of the next section is its proximity to the Beaver Run Reservoir in Salem Township. The trail group has an agreement with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County to include land near the reservoir on the path, said Sias, who also is the planning coordinator for the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation.
"It's a beautiful view and a beautiful place to be," he said. "That will be a very significant spot."
Delmont Council President James Bortz said the extension of the trail is great news for residents of Delmont, Slickville and surrounding areas. Bortz, who used to walk on a trail along the railroad when he was growing up, said the path provides another recreational opportunity in the region.
"It connects you to nature again," he said. It gets you away from the computer, and it gives them an avenue maybe to take the family out for a walk."
The nonprofit group received federal transportation-enhancement grants for the first two phases of the trail, which supporters in 2003 envisioned to be a 20-mile course from Saltsburg to Trafford. The first section opened in June 2008.
Sias said trail advocates knew the project could take as long as 20 years to complete. Even after this latest phase opens, the next one - to tie into a bigger population base in Murrysville - is on hold until more money is available and the trail organization can begin to negotiate to buy more properties, he said.
"If you can make that connection (to Trafford), that would be pretty significant, but that's a pretty long time in the future," Sias said.
Trafford Mayor Rey Peduzzi, the vice president of the nonprofit group's Westmoreland Heritage Trail chapter, has touted the trail for its potential role in a revitalization plan for the borough.
The expansion of the trail into Trafford would help to draw people into the business district and foster community spirit, he said.
"That's a valuable asset to any community."
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.
- 3-D printers add new dimension in education at Franklin Regional
- Export steel pipe supplier announces new jobs
- Franklin Regional officials consider $965K tech upgrade
- Westmoreland County Food Bank looks for summer service locations
- Woman evaluated after Murrysville crash
- Evankovich moves his Murrysville office