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Canoe Creek project a community asset

Rails to Trails of Central PA would like to thank PennDOT District 9, Blair County commissioners and Frankstown Township supervisors for their recent financial commitments to make the Canoe Creek Connector project a reality.

This project will connect two great community assets with a safe and enjoyable bike-pedestrian crossing under U.S. Route 22. The Lower Trail will finally be connected to Canoe Creek when the Route 22 highway improvement project completes in 2018.

This connector was identified as one of the top ten trail gaps in Pennsylvania’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

At one point, this project was on the brink of collapse as we faced a hard deadline and a huge challenge of securing $300,000 in matching funds to keep the underpass in the highway project.

The underpass construction cost of $1.3 million is a significant safety and recreational investment in our community. PennDOT was able to secure state discretionary funding reducing our match requirement to $175,500.

Intergovernmental cooperation between Blair County and Frankstown Township was then essential and produced an agreement to provide $150,000 dollars of matching funds and the underpass will now be built.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, State Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. and State Rep. Judy Ward also provided help and letters of support for this grant.

The late Dean Lower was a major benefactor and instrumental in establishing the 17.5 mile Lower Trail. I did not have the privilege to know him, but his friends say that he would be very pleased with the project, and so are we.

Our organization continues to work on extending the trail into Hollidaysburg, Duncansville and onto the national park’s Six to 10 Trail.

The efforts of many others who supported this project are appreciated. Blair County and Frankstown Township are truly great places to live.

Ed Donahoe

President

Rails To Trails

of Central PA