Sports complex planned along Montour Trail

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Construction of the first athletic field will begin this year in what eventually will become a new Allegheny County park along the Ohio River.

Dennis Davin, the county's economic development director, made that prediction Friday after the county's Redevelopment Authority approved the purchase of the last piece of land needed for the new outdoor sports complex. The authority operates as part of the county's economic development department.

Authority board members voted to buy 1.6 acres from Trinity Commercial Development for $25,000. The tract adjoins the Neville Island Bridge in Coraopolis. The land will become part of the 78-acre Montour Run recreation area that will be constructed on former rail yards in Coraopolis, Moon and Robinson.

The site adjoins the "Mile 0" trailhead of the Montour Trail.

Most of the land was donated to the Redevelopment Authority by the nonprofit Sports Legacy Foundation. Once the site is developed, primarily as rugby, soccer and lacrosse fields, it will be turned over to the county as an addition to the park system.

"It's really going to be an asset to improving the recreational quality of life in the area," state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, said. He is a member of the Redevelopment Authority, and his district includes part of what will become the Montour Junction park.

Project plans include extending the Montour Trail three-fourths of a mile through the new park and developing a fishing area.

The site is bordered by Route 51, the Coraopolis Bridge, CSX Railroad tracks and residential areas. Once owned by the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, Montour Junction is a brownfield site and has been undergoing an environmental cleanup for several years.

Plans call for private fundraising to help pay for the sports complex.

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Len Barcousky: lbarcousky@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1159.


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