New Construction Projected for 2023
Planning for the long-awaited Logan Valley Streetcar Trail has continued through the second half of 2021 and early 2022. Seemingly minor right-of-way and stormwater issues with Norfolk Southern Railroad has been the primary source of the construction delay, originally projected for late 2021 or early 2022. Design of the trail is complete, but funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) cannot be released, and bids solicited, until the last details are finalized with the railroad. The township solicitor, township staff, and the township’s consulting engineers have all been working toward resolution of the last few issues, but, forgive the pun, sometimes these wheels move very slowly.
The Good News: Other Work Continues
Despite the disappointment of those construction delays, other trail related work has continued in the meantime.
- Trail Amenities Planned – Wayfinding street signs, trail signage and interpretive displays, waste and recycling receptacles, and trailside benches for the trail and park are being planned and funding being pursued. Only a portion of these trail amenities will be funded by grants, so the township is also soliciting support for these important trail resources.
- Becker Road Trailhead – The township public works staff has continued work, as time permits, on the Becker Road Trailhead and the connected trail segment. A small bridge has been placed over a stream which runs along Becker Pond and the trail has been built northeastward to connect at Becker Road with the trail slated for construction in 2023.
- Native Tree Planting Project – Meanwhile, a host of volunteers, organized and supported by Interfaith Power and Light and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has planted 80 native trees and shrubs along the Little Juniata, after the removal of countless invasive plants which plagued the riverside.
- Abandoned Mine Land Project – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will begin work on the coal waste removal south of the Becker Road Trailhead through funding from the Bureau of Mine Reclamation. Following the acquisition of this land, the township discovered that the Kerbaugh Company had used the land for coal storage and processing in the early 20th Century, leaving behind a large pile of coal waste. Technology, unavailable at that time, now allows such waste to be burned for energy rather than leaving unproductive soil and polluted water in its wake. When completed, the waste will be removed, the area reclaimed and planted, and a portion of the trail to Lower Riggles Gap constructed.