Trail construction is proceeding near Sandcastle. The GAP trail is expected to open there by June, as you’ve probably heard. I posted some pictures I shot on Friday – see links below.
Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail construction at Keystone Metals, near the Glenwood Bridge, Pittsburgh, PA. Wall panels are being set in place to erect a wall to protect cyclists along the future GAP trail from Keystone Metals scrap yard, just beyond the wall. Glenwood Bridge is visible at right, and Sandcastle water park is beyond the bridge. This section of trail will connect the Steel Valley Trail, upstream of the Glenwood Bridge, with the Baldwin Borough Trail, downstream of the bridge. Both are part of the GAP.
also of interest, the nearby bald eagle nest on the hillside
Maintain a buffer of at least 660 feet (200 meters) between project activities and the nest (including active and alternate nests). If a similar activity is closer than 660 feet, then maintain a distance buffer as close to the nest as the existing tolerated activity.
If the activity is closer than 660 feet due to an existing similar activity then restrict all clearing, external construction and landscaping activities within 660 feet of the nest to outside the nesting season, which is August through January. The nesting season in the Northeast is generally from mid-December to June for states in the Chesapeake Bay (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia) and as late as January through July for other Northeast states.
Maintain established landscape buffers that screen the activity from the nest.
These are voluntary but it might be a good idea to let folks know about this.
They may be OK in any case depending on how the measurement is done and whether the road traffic on Carson counts as similar activity to construction. They are definitely within 200 meters measured by vertical projection but that’s a pretty step hill and I think if you were to walk the distance it would might be over 200 meters. And of course the eagles don’t mind the road or train traffic.
Edit: BTW I’m not sure it matters, really, whether they started the construction before the eagles started nesting. I think the eagles get priority.
jonawebb – construction was aware of the bald eagles well before the information was released to the public. They’ve done a great job of not shouting about it (tried to keep it on the DL as long as possible so people would not flock there and disturb the birds) and have done what is possible not to disturb the pair, who did choose the site well after construction had begun. Everyone is excited to have them here and want them to stay:)