HARRISBURG – A state grant will help close a gap in the Schuylkill River Trail in Auburn Borough and support improvements that will create new recreation and transportation opportunities for local residents, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-29) and Representative Mike Tobash (R-125).
The $367,500 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will support the construction of .15 miles of trail from River Road to the Auburn Bridge Road. The project will also include construction of a ramp and retaining wall, landscaping, ADA accessibility features and other site improvements.
Earlier this year, the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area announced that the Auburn Bridge would be rehabilitated to extend the trail and close one of the last remaining gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail from Frackville to Philadelphia. The extension project is expected to be completed in 2020.
The dead-end in the trail near Auburn was a source of frustration for trail users for decades, Argall said.
“The Schuylkill River Trail near Auburn Township is one of the most scenic trails in all of Pennsylvania, and it provides an extremely valuable means of recreation and transportation for people who work in neighboring communities,” Argall said. “It not only supports new recreation opportunities, but also highlights the natural beauty of our area and provides another way to connect the growing communities in southern Schuylkill and northern Berks counties.”
“In addition to creating new recreational opportunities in the area, this project offers an alternate path for community residents to travel back and forth without using SR 61,” Tobash said. “Creating another way for members of the community to travel will create a safer environment for motorists, bicyclists, joggers and other people who travel between Schuylkill and Berks counties.”
The grants were awarded as part of DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program, which provides funding for planning, acquisition of land, construction, and rehabilitation and maintenance of trails and trail-related facilities.