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Rails to Trails meeting set for Thursday

March 06, 2001

Rails to Trails meeting set for Thursday



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Residents will get the chance to hear what is being proposed for the 1.1-mile Rails to Trails project and offer input at a public meeting Thursday.

Behind-the-scenes work has continued since the last train ran through downtown Chambersburg last fall, and the Rails to Trails Advisory Committee is ready for public feedback, said Tom Newcomer, committee member and borough councilman.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Fellowship Hall of the First Lutheran Church at 43 W. Washington St.

A short walk to the trestle of the proposed trail will begin at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting.

"We want to get as many people from the public involved in the design," Newcomer said.

He said the committee has met regularly and has come up with some ideas, but wants to hear input on a covered bridge and other design features.

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The designers, the RBA Group, will make a short presentation at the meeting before the public has the opportunity to voice ideas.

Calling it the "Cadillac of trails," Newcomer said the 1.1-mile stretch has a $631,000 price tag for construction work.

He said an additional half-mile stretch of the railroad bed from South Street to South Main Street may be incorporated in the future.

That would add from $300,000 to $350,000 to the cost for design and construction, he said.

The Kiwanis Club has pledged a pavilion and Newcomer said he hopes others will step up and want to take part in the project.

"This is a community project that will be there for everyone to use," he said. "We are encouraging any service groups that want to help."

The tentative timeline of the project is for the design to be completed later this year and for construction to start in the late winter or early spring in 2002. The target completion date is the end of 2002, Newcomer said.

"That is conditional on the removal of the tracks. A lot of things have to happen in a certain way, but I feel pretty good it will happen," he said.

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