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Grant brings federal funding of Westmoreland Heritage Trail to $1M

| Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

After receiving a $250,000 grant this week, Westmoreland County and the Regional Trail Corp. now have $1 million in federal funds for construction of the next phase of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.

PennDOT officials on Monday announced that it will channel a $250,000 federal transportation grant to help build 3.8 miles of a trail along the former Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad in Trafford, Monroeville, Penn Township, Murrysville and Export. In August, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission committed $750,000 to the project.

The nonprofit trail organization is finalizing the purchase of 9.5 miles of the trail corridor from a subsidiary of Dura-Bond Industries for $1 million. Construction is expected to start in 2016.

Trafford Mayor Rey Peduzzi, who has been involved in the trail planning for more than a decade, said the project finally is coming together as officials in neighboring communities see the potential value of it.

“I feel great about it,” Peduzzi said. “I never thought I'd see it in my lifetime come into Trafford.”

The next phase might have an entry point in B-Y Park in Trafford, said Jeffrey Richards, Westmoreland County parks planning coordinator.

County officials are trying to work something out down the line — on property owned by Norfolk Southern — to extend the project into downtown Trafford, Richards said.

“That's just going to take more time to play out,” he said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2363 or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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