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Construction of Connellsville hotel getting closer

| Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5:27 p.m.
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This is an architect's rendering of the proposed hotel to be situated on the banks of the Youghiogheny River on Connellsville's West Side.

Construction of a 54-room hotel on the bank of the Youghiogheny River on Connellsville's West Side by developer Hotel D2 is getting closer, according to Chris Rosselot, project spokesperson with Grant Forbes.

“We can proceed to closing on the property,” he said.

“The report on the conditions at the site is very positive.”

Rosselot said three further test drillings were added to make sure there would be no problems with old coal mines beneath the site. “They went down 120 feet on one.”

Rosselot called the process of checking conditions at the site, which has taken extra time, as “due diligence.”

He said no date has been set for a ceremony to break ground, but he expects an announcement very soon. He was hopeful to have some news before the end of the month.

Michael Edwards, executive director of the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, said he was unsure of any plans.

“I haven't heard yet,” Edwards said. “Nothing will be planned until I hear from him. Maybe we will be able to set a date before the end of the month. I'm looking forward to the construction to begin.”

The hotel will be built on the site of the former Connellsville Bottling plant on First Street.

The structure would feature a building with two wings, with a driveway running through a center section. The building site will be raised 3 feet higher than the current elevation to keep the first floor above the flood plain.

Potential guests include bikers and hikers along the Great Allegheny Passage.

Those traveling by rail on Amtrak from the Washington area or the Midwest could leave the Capitol Limited with their bicycles or hiking gear, cross the river and stay overnight in the hotel before heading east on the passage.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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