Grant approved for Bellefonte-Milesburg greenway trail

The Centre County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a grant agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for construction of a greenway trail.

The $70,500 grant will fund a feasibility study for the 2.5-mile Bellefonte-Milesburg greenway trail, which will connect the Bellefonte waterfront with the Milesburg community park, and will mainly be used as a bike and walking path.

The grant was allocated from the Marcellus Legacy Fund, developed in 2012 by the DCED, to provide for the distribution of unconventional gas well impact fees to counties, municipalities and commonwealth agencies.

The legacy fund dollars are to be used for mine drainage abatement; abandoned well plugging; sewage treatment; greenways, trails and recreation; baseline water quality data; watershed restoration and flood control.

Mike Bloom, Centre County senior transportation planner, is heading the effort to bring the trail to the county. Bloom said the “multiphased” project is part of the greenways, trails and recreation program created by the state.

The study will begin in March 2017 and should be completed in December, according to Bloom. The second phase of the project will plan engineered structures to cross several streams along the trail.

After the engineering plan, the final cost of the project will be determined and the project will go out to bid, at which time the county will apply for funds from the DCNR and PennDOT.

Construction of the trail is hoped to be completed by the end of 2020.

Leon Valsechi: 814-231-4631, @leon_valsechi