After working with Indiana University of Pennsylvania students on possible routes to close a gap in the Westmoreland Heritage Trail between Export and Delmont, members of the Delmont Visionary Committee are turning their focus to a potential trail spur leading into Delmont.
“However the trail comes to the borough, it’s not likely to come through downtown,” said committee member Annamarie Stackiewicz. “So (a spur) is a way to safely bring people into town if they want to grab something to eat or drink.”
This spring, committee members worked with IUP students to evaluate routes for bringing the trail as close to downtown Delmont as possible.
The recommended option was a route that comes into town along Church Street, before veering back north along Freeport Street, crossing Route 66 and passing through the Westmoreland Conservancy’s Morosini Nature Reserve in Murrysville.
It follows Turtle Creek briefly and runs parallel to Old William Penn Highway before a few short north-south detours as it heads into downtown Export. It also provides for the possibility of a trail spur along Greensburg Street.
Committee members received Delmont council’s permission Tuesday night to begin developing a transportation plan for the area. The plan will lay out transportation logistics if a trail spur were to come into town, including suggestions for things like improved crosswalks, additional off-street parking, bike racks throughout town and other potential amenities.
Stackiewicz stressed that everything is conceptual at this point.
“We’re not going to do anything yet,” she said. “But part of the plan is for us to come up with different ideas. Once we have three or four plans, we can look at them and choose one.”
The eventual plan would have to be approved by council before being forwarded to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials for review, according to borough solicitor Dan Hewitt.
“It’s going to be a long process,” Stackiewicz said.
Anyone interested in participating in the committee’s work is invited to its next meeting, 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Yellow Bridge Brewing on Route 66 in Delmont.
For more, see Facebook.com/delmontVC.