Bikers, walkers and runners soon will travel the Montour Trail more easily and safely, with construction of two new trail bridges over busy roads officially beginning Saturday.
When completed next June, the bridges in Hendersonville, Washington County, will allow trail users to travel 35 miles along the trail from Coraopolis to South Park with just one road crossing. Public officials, including U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy and Cecil Supervisor Frank Ludwin, joined trail volunteers to break ground on the project, which they said will eliminate a dangerous situation.
The $1.8 million project was paid for using more than $1 million in federal transportation funds secured by Mr. Murphy and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, as well as more than $400,000 in local share money from the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington. Trail council fundraisers and private donors contributed additional money.
“It’s going to get rid of a very bad safety hazard we’ve had down here for years,” Dennis Sims, president of the Cecil Friends of the Montour Trail, told a group of elected officials, Montour Trail Council volunteers and the owners of a local business, Burgh’s Pizza and Wings Garage in Bridgeville, that has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help create the trail.
Expansion of the trail also continues to remake how the region’s residents travel and recreate — hopefully forever, said Washington County Commissioner J. Bracken Burns.
“Maybe 10 or 20 or 50 years from now, when our grandchildren are driving the bus, we’ll park all our cars and go back to walking and biking everywhere,” Mr. Burns said. “I think that would be a better life.”
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