The Montour Trail is significantly closer to being a completely car-free route that connects communities in the Pittsburgh region. At a ceremony this Saturday, the Montour Trail Council
will celebrate the opening of two bicycle/pedestrian bridges more than ten years in the making.
The two bridges, a 118-foot long span crossing Morganza Road, and another at 110 feet above Georgetown Road, opened recently in Cecil Township. The “twin” bridges are less than a half mile apart, and replace former railroad spans torn down many years prior.
Ned Williams, MTC board president, describes the trail as a sylvan experience, in most places a car-free path through the woods. But those intersections, which are very busy, had hindered access by many users to the entire trail.
"There were a lot of people that simply would not cross this road. They would just turn around and go back," Williams says. "So this just completely opens up the whole thing...to a more complete experience. It makes a tremendous difference."
The Montour Trail is a 46-mile trail that runs a C-shaped route from Coraopolis on the Ohio River, to Clairton, on the Monongahela.
Earlier this year, the MTC also completed a 6.3 mile branch trail to the Pittsburgh International Airport. Williams says his organization has received several reports of cyclist riding to and from the airport using the new trail amenity.
"That's a great force for tourism in the area," and for promoting the natural beauty of the region, Williams says.
And on Saturday, the council will announce yet another branch trail that will extend from the Montour Trail to the Southpointe business park in Canonsburg.
To the east, the council is working on two more bicycle/pedestrian bridges in Peters Township.
The design and construction costs for the two bridges was just under $1.9 million.
Funding for the bridges came from the federal Transportation Enhancement program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Allegheny Trail Alliance, and the Washington County Local Share Account, among donations from other local organizations and private donors.
The ceremony will be held at noon, this Saturday, at the parking area off Georgetown Road, just east of Morganza Road in Hendersonville.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Ned Williams