Approved funds for path renewal, walking/cycling bridge development | local news

The Indiana County Board of Commissioners approved a $292,000 reimbursement agreement for the Blairsville Riverfront Trail Resurfacing project to be covered by a Transportation Alternatives grant for settlement by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

As Nicholas Puzak, PE, of Gibson-Thomas Engineering pointed out in a memo to Indiana County Parks & Trails Director Ed Patterson, Commissioners and Chief Clerk Robin Maryai, the project is “an effort sponsored by Indiana County and is being overseen by (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation)…to place a layer of asphalt on the existing Blairsville Riverfront Trail.”

It is a 1.7 mile facility built in 2012 that traverses part of the flood control reservoir around the Borough of Blairsville. Puzak pointed out that as part of the Trans Allegheny Trails network, the trail receives about 18,000 visits annually.

“Due to usage and the need to clean up the trail after regular flooding from the Conemaugh River Lake flood control reservoir, the existing surface has deteriorated and needs upgrading,” Puzak wrote. “The proposed asphalt overlay will be more durable for trail users and maintenance workers.”

Patterson said the district is providing $24,000 for engineering costs.

“Design work on the project was funded by Indiana County Parks & Trails,” Puzak wrote. “Construction is currently planned for summer/autumn 2023.”

It is one of two Indiana County projects involving PennDOT in the south end of the county that were brought to the attention of the commissioners at their Jan. 11 meeting.

The Indiana County Planning and Development Bureau requested a commissioner-approved order that would provide $638,382.48 in matching funds for the construction and associated costs of the proposed Route 22 pedestrian-cyclist bridge project in Burrell Township.

This resolution would in turn support a $1,702,044 grant from the PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund, which would mobilize an additional $794,808 in funding from other state, local and private sources.

The commissioners also approved two contracts totaling $100,000 requested by ICOPD and Gibson-Thomas Engineering for the Indiana County prison shaft rehabilitation project.

One is a $25,000 excavation contract with Hilty Excavating of Black Lick. The other is a $75,000 contract with Harvey Paving of Homer City for spray lining 18 manholes.

Both contracts would be covered by general county funds.