Plans Underway to Link Montour Trail to Sewickley Bridge
The project is a part of a series of hike-and-bike trail extensions that could connect Moon Township to Pittsburgh and East Liverpool, Ohio.
The Ohio River Trail Council has completed a feasibility study for a new 2-and-a-half mile Moon Township pathway that would extend the Montour Trail to the edge of the Sewickley Bridge off University Boulevard.
Vincent Troia, executive chairman for the council, said no timeline is yet in place for the project's completion. The Montour Trail extension is a part of a larger plan to install a 40-mile hike and bike trail connecting Moon to Ohioville, Ohio, near East Liverpool.
"If we hear back from those federal grants, we could start work [on the Moon township portion of the trail] within months of receiving the grant money," Troia said. "We could begin work on engineering for the trail."
The Pennsylvania portion of the stateline trail project is split into two segments, a "south shore" trail that will stretch from Monaca to Moon Township and a "north shore" trail that will run from Rochester to East Liverpool.
Click the media in this article to view maps of the proposed trail pathways.
The estimated cost of completion of both the north and south shore trails is $6 million, Troia said. The organization is in the process of completing a feasibility study for the north shore trail segment.
The council plans to fund the project through a series of pending state and federal grants as well as private donations. Troia said the First Energy Corporation has contributed $15,000 to the project.
"What this will do is extend the Montour Trail to the Sewickley Bridge," Troia said. "It gives all of those folks in Sewickley access to the trail just by walking over the bridge."
County officials have also announced plans to construct a biking and pedestrian trail that will run from Pittsburgh to Coraopolis and ultimately connect the Montour Trail to the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile trail the snakes from Western Pennsylvania to Cumberland, MD.
Spanning nearly 60 miles, the multi-use Montour Trail, which runs through portions of Moon Township, is the largest suburban former train rail area converted to a trail in the country. Allegheny County recently opened a 6.3 mile trail connector that links the Montour Trail to the Pittsburgh International Airport's terminal in Findlay Township.
Troia said when completed the Moon portion trail will include a boardwalk that spans through the township's planned 17-acre waterfront park to Crescent Township as well as direct access to the planned Montour Junction sports complex, a 78-acre recreational park slated to be built at along Route 51.
The trail will lie parallel to University Boulevard and the CSX train tracks that run near the Ohio River shore.
Troia said waterfront land in the Coraopolis area is under utilized, but plans to connect new municipal park projects via the Montour Trail could draw hiking and biking enthusiasts to Moon Township.
"You know Friends of the Riverfront in Pittsburgh have been great out utilizing their resources with the river there," Troia said. "But we're catching up fast here."