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Three Rivers Heritage Trail segment opens in Blawnox

Tawnya Panizzi
| Friday, June 22, 2018, 12:57 p.m.
Friends of the Riverfront hosted a ribbon-cutting on June 21, for the Blawnox segment of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
Tawnya Panizzi | Tribune-Review
Friends of the Riverfront hosted a ribbon-cutting on June 21, for the Blawnox segment of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Blawnox officially opened June 21, bridging a small gap in the path that organizers hope someday will stretch from Freeport to Millvale and beyond.

A small crowd gathered at Blawnox Community Park along Center Avenue to celebrate a ribbon-cutting by Friends of the Riverfront, the group that maintains the trail extending 25 miles through several Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

The borough's portion of the trail travels solely on pavement, along Pine Street and Center Avenue. Sharrows and signs mark the route. No construction was necessary.

Courtney Mahronich, director of trail development for Friends of the Riverfront, said roads with minimal traffic were chosen. Early plans to move the trail off main streets and closer to the Allegheny River were scrapped because of the active Norfolk Southern Railroad line, she said.

The trail stretches from the Blawnox border to Chapel Harbor at the Water in O'Hara. In the Lower Valley, the trail picks up again in Millvale where it extends to Pittsburgh and beyond.

“This completes an important piece of the corridor,” Mahronich said.

“With trails, you go where the opportunity is.”

Last month, a $250,000 state grant was announced for trail planning at the Riverfront 47 property in Aspinwall and Sharpsburg. The property represents more than 75 percent of the uncompleted Three Rivers Heritage Trail segment between Aspinwall and Millvale. It nearly abuts another trail section planned for Etna Riverfront Park.

Blawnox councilwoman Katie Coban said people have responded well to the borough's bike/walking trail.

“It's good for the community,” she said.

Coban said she expects an economic benefit from visitors who use the trail as well.

For more, visit friendsoftheriverfront.org/trails/three-rivers-heritage-trail/

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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