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Borough Council approves changes to rail-trail layout

March 01, 2005|by DON AINES

mailto:chambersburg@hearld-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A scaled-down version of the 1.1-mile rail-trail through the downtown was approved Monday night by the Chambersburg Borough Council, paving the way for construction to possibly begin this spring.

The council voted 6-4 in favor of accepting the low bid with a number of changes designed to lower the cost to fit the budget.

The borough has $631,000 in federal and state funds available for the project, but the most recent round of bids came in well above that figure, according to Assistant Borough Manager David Finch. The council rejected an earlier round of bids last year.

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On Feb. 7, the council discussed, but tabled action on a request for an additional $6,000 to redesign the project to fit within the budget.

The low bid this time was $844,000 from George S. Hann & Sons of Fort Littleton, Pa. Mayor Thomas L. Newcomer said he talked with the contractor last week to see what could be removed from the project to bring it in line with the available funding.

Newcomer said the project will, for the time being, run from South Street north to West King Street. The original plan called for the trail to end farther north at Commerce Street.

Conduit for lighting will be installed between West Queen Street and Lincoln Way West, but the contractor will install underground sleeves along portions of the trail through which conduit can be inserted later in order to save money now, Newcomer said.

Not installing all the utilities now will save approximately $127,000, he said.

The plan allows for paving about six-tenths of a mile of the trail as planned, along with curb installation from South Street to West King Street, Newcomer said. The section from West King north to Commerce will eventually have a gravel base, but not doing it now will save $99,000, Newcomer said.

The mayor said the borough is still looking for additional federal or state funds to complete the entire trail at some point in the future. The Chambersburg Evening Kiwanis Club is donating money for a pavilion along the trail and Newcomer said another organization is considering donating $40,000 for a canopy over a railroad trestle on the trail.

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