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Indiana County seeking $360 K for proposed Route 22 pedestrian span

| Thursday, April 4, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

The Indiana County Commissioners have taken another step toward extending the Hoodlebug Trail with a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Route 22 in Burrell Township.

Acting at their regular March 27 meeting, the commissioners approved application for a pair of grants to fund engineering and design of the proposed span over Route 22 near its intersection with Route 119.

“This project was identified in both the Greenways plan and the plan for biking and walking that were adopted with the Comprehensive Plan as priority projects,” said Jeff Grimm of the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development. “There were also two studies done. One looked at different alternatives to get the Hoodlebug Trail across Route 22, the other one was a road safety audit of Route 22 that identified this as an improvement that would improve safety in the corridor.”

The Keystone Public Improvement grant through the Department of Community and Economic Development would be used as the matching funds for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant. The grant applications will seek $180,000 each.

“That's the critical piece, because almost all grants now in Harrisburg require a match,” Commissioners Chairman Rodney Ruddock said of being able to use one grant to match the other. “Frankly, I was a little bit surprised to hear that we could use a state-funded program to match another state-funded program... I think this is a worthy project. It should stand as a top priority, as far as I'm concerned.”

The prefabricated bridge would carry the Hoodlebug Trail over Route 22 in addition to providing a safe path over the highway for workers and students at the Corporate Campus industrial park and WyoTech automotive school.

“This has me excited also,” Commissioner Patricia Evanko said. “I hope it comes to be before I'm too old to walk over it or ride my bike over it.”

Gibson-Thomas Engineering is preparing the grant applications and providing preliminary engineering services.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at (724) 459-6100, ext. 2913 or greinbold@tribweb.com.

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