Missing link to be filled in on Montour Trail

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  • The Montour Trail

  • The Montour Trail will fill in another key missing link with rehabilitation of an old railroad viaduct crossing Route 88 in South Park Township.

    Groundbreaking for the $2.5 million project will be at 2 p.m. Sunday next to the Rite Aid pharmacy adjacent to the viaduct, the Montour Trail Council announced.

    The trail currently dead-ends at the viaduct, forcing riders to detour via roads that also are used by motor vehicles.

    The project "will enable us to close the last significant gap in our 47-mile main line and offer tourists a bicycle-friendly route from Pittsburgh International Airport to the Great Allegheny Passage," said trail council president Dennis Pfeiffer.

    It also will provide a connection to the Library park-n-ride on the Port Authority's Light Rail Transit system, which allows bicycles on board.

    The project will take about a year, and about 900 feet of trail will be added east of the viaduct to connect to Pleasant Street, a township road, said trail council spokesman Ned Williams.

    Talks are nearing conclusion with property owners to build additional trail sections to the east of the project, he said.

    The 506-foot-long Library Viaduct, called "the most visible structure" on the trail, rests on 20 steel columns and formerly carried the Montour Railroad over Route 88, the Port Authority line and Piney Fork. It hasn't been used for nearly 40 years, but inspections have shown it to be structurally sound, Mr. Pfeiffer said.

    Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1868. Visit the PG's transportation blog, The Roundabout, at www.post-gazette.com/Roundabout. Twitter: @pgtraffic.

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