Township gets money for biking trails

May 30, 2002|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Antrim Township got another boost in its bid to turn a 126-acre farm into a premier community park when township officials learned they would be getting a $378,000 federal grant for hiking and biking trails on roads leading to the park.

The project, estimated to cost $480,000 to build along three existing township roads, will be completed in one construction season, said Ben Thomas, a township administrator.

The township will come up with the $102,000 to make up the difference from the taxes it receives on fuel sold in the state.


Thomas said the township takes in about $300,000 in state liquid fuel taxes every year. Municipalities are paid based on the number of miles of road they maintain. Antrim Township has 102 miles, Thomas said.

Paved hiking/biking trails will be built along Grant Shook Road running south for more than two miles from Pa. 16 to East Weaver Road. The main entrance to the new park is off Grant Shook Road.

The trail will follow a 1 1/2-mile eastward stretch of East Weaver Road from Grant Shook to Williamsport Pike, a state highway that runs north from Williamsport to Greencastle.

No trails will be built along Williamsport Pike because it is a state highway, Thompson said.

The trails will pick up again in a westward direction on Shank's Church Road from Williamsport Pike back to Grant Shook Road.

Widths of the three affected township roads range from 16 to 24 feet, Thomas said.

They will be widened to 26 feet to accommodate hiking/biking trails on both sides, he said.

The law requires biking trails to run in both directions because bikers have to go with the traffic, not against it, he said.

The trails will be marked by white lines along the widest edges of the roadways. Signs urging motorists to "Share the Road," will also be installed, Thomas said.

"They'll follow the three main roads leading into the park," Thomas said.

Engineering studies and meetings with PennDOT will be done before construction can begin, he said.

The Antrim Township Supervisors paid $300,000 two years ago for the farm that is being converted into the community park. It is being built in phases. The projected cost to complete the park, which will include passive and active recreation facilities, is $1.5 million.

The money is coming from a negotiated agreement with Waste Management, owner of the Mountain View Reclamation landfill in Upton, Pa.

Under the agreement the township receives 30 cents for every ton of trash dumped at the landfill to be used exclusively to finance construction of the park and to maintain it once it's completed.

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