Allegheny Township wants trails organization to acquire old rail bridge
Allegheny Township officials want a regional trails organization to take over an old railway bridge spanning the Kiskiminetas River and use it connect the Tredway and Armstrong Trails.
Township Supervisor Rennick Steele said he plans to lobby Westmoreland County officials to have the county join the Erie To Pittsburgh Rail Alliance (EPTA). He hopes that might entice the trail alliance to take over the old railway bridge.
The bridge is owned by the Rosebud Mining Company, which has ceased operations at the mine that the rail line and bridge used to serve, Steele said.
“The next step is to see if the Rosebud coal company is willing to sell it to the Erie To Pittsburgh Trail Alliance,” he said.
The EPTA’s website said the organization is “a coalition of trail organizations, municipalities and individuals dedicated to the promotion, acquisition, development and maintenance of a safe, non-motorized trails network that connects the Bayfront in Erie to the Point in Pittsburgh.”
It includes organizations that maintain or oversee 13 different trails, including the Armstrong Trail in Armstrong County.
Steele said if the alliance acquired the bridge near the confluence of the Kiskiminetas and Allegheny rivers, it would enable the township to extend the Tredway Trail and connect it with the Armstrong Trail in Gilpin.
“The township doesn’t want to own it,” Steele said. “We would prefer that it be owned by a recreational authority.”
Township Manager Greg Primm said owning the bridge would involve unwanted liability issues for the township.
The Tredway Trail runs 2.5 miles from Boggs Way in Lower Burrell’s Braeburn section to Allegheny Township’s Riverforest area.
The Armstrong Trail extends 36 miles along the eastern bank of the Allegheny River from East Brady to Rosston.
Tom Yerace is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.