Rimersburg, Clarion County, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Saturday joined local and conservancy officials, and hiking and biking enthusiasts in a groundbreaking signaling the start of Brady Tunnel renovations.
"This project helps our department meet its goal of having a trail within 15 minutes of every citizen by closing openings in Pennsylvania's current trail system," Dunn said. "It also demonstrates the value of having committed partners like you folks gathered here today. Work of this magnitude requires substantial financial commitment, the type foreseen by Governor Tom Wolf in his Restore Pennsylvania proposal."
Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth's vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.
To connect 5.5 miles of the Armstrong Trail from the southern portal of the Brady Tunnel to the end of the Allegheny Valley Land Trust property, it will require between $6.9 to $10.4 million to stabilize and rehabilitate the tunnel.
Owner of both the Armstrong and nearby Redbank Valley Trails, Allegheny Valley Land Trust maintains the integrity of the inactive railroad corridor in accordance with the National Trail Act and the PA Rails to Trails Act. AVLT purchased and railbanked the corridors on which the Armstrong Trail and Redbank Valley Trail exist.
Over the past seven years, DCNR has invested $773,400 in grant funds to facilitate renovations and help close what it sees as a vital Armstrong Trail gap in a proposed trail system that would eventually stretch from Erie to Pittsburgh.
"The Brady Tunnel Project creates opportunities for economic growth, health and wellness, power in partnerships, time with our friends/family and a celebration of our roots," said Allegheny Valley Land Trust Executive Director Chris Ziegler. "You cannot create any of these things without a solid foundation."
Both the Armstrong and Redbank Valley trails provide a scenic environment for the public to enjoy hiking, bicycling, jogging, exercising, bird watching and cross-country skiing. For non-motorized use only, they are part of the PA Wilds Conservation Landscape, an area marked by strong natural resource assets; local readiness and support for land conservation; locally-driven planning; and community revitalization efforts.
Learn more about the Restore Pennsylvania plan.
Visit the ExplorePATrails.com website for more information on trails throughout Pennsylvania.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-705-2225