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Delays in trails project concern Chambersburg mayor

January 29, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg Mayor Tom Newcomer said Tuesday he has doubts if the Rails to Trails project will be completed by the end of the year.

The current timeline puts the project out to bid in June, with construction taking four to six months to complete, he said.

"I don't feel the way things are looking at this point that we will have this under construction and finished by the end of the year. I just don't see it happening," Newcomer said at Tuesday's Borough Council meeting.

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Newcomer said he felt some of the problems lie with the consultants, the RBA Group, and its schedule. He said the final design is still not complete. He said all approvals by the state on the project must line up perfectly in order to be ready to go out to bid in June.

Borough Manager Eric Oyer said several local projects are being held up, largely because the state has too many projects to manage.

"These projects are messy. They are bureaucratic in nature. Our timelines may not be what we want them to be," Oyer said.

The $750,000 project encompasses a 1.1-mile stretch in downtown Chambersburg abandoned by CSX railroad between South and Commerce streets.

The project has been in the works since 1996, but planning began in earnest once the final train ran on the tracks in November 2000.

The trail is slated to be a 10- to 12-foot wide paved surface to allow for all kinds of recreational activities from running to rollerblading.

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