City gathering estimates for feasibility study on city complexes

SPARTANSBURG — The design of a greenway trail that would begin in Spartansburg and continue to Corry remains in the planning stages.

Members of the Clear Lake Authority have been spearheading the proposed 5-mile scenic trail that would connect the East Branch Trail in Spartansburg to the Corry Junction Greenway Trail.

Debra Frawley, greenways and open space coordinator in Oil City, appealed recently to Corry City Council for continued support for the lofty project.

Frawley, in a letter read aloud during a council meeting Monday, said the CLA and Corry Community Development Corp. and other partners are applying for funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to continue the design of the trail along the former Penn Central Railroad.

The current phase of the project would begin at the Phase I ending point at Route 89, just north of Spartansburg, and continue to Corry.

The goal of the trail would be to allow bicyclists, runners and walkers the ability to travel from Spartansburg to Corry through a scenic route. The East Branch Trail is 3.1 miles in length, and would eventually connect to the Corry Junction Greenway Trail, which heads north to Clymer, New York.

“Projects such as this have shown to be a benefit to the communities through which they pass, not only in economic growth, but also in increased land values and community pride,” Frawley said.

A feasibility study, sponsored by the CLA and the borough of Spartansburg, was unveiled in 2013 to determine how best to connect the two greenway trails. The study found a preferred route for the connection, along with three alternate routes.

The preferred route, from Spartansburg to Corry, according to input during a 2013 hearing and from property owners, would be through three segments: from the East Branch Trail to Ormsbee Road, from Ormsbee Road to Route 89, and from Route 89 to the Corry Junction Greenway Trail.

Each landowner must negotiate a right-of-way agreement or a purchase agreement. The negotiations are still underway, Frawley said.

The long-range plan, meanwhile, is to have the trail connect to a network of similar trails that wind from Lake Erie to Point State Park in Pittsburgh, at the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.

“It is our hope that all of the communities along this trail and the larger projects to which it connects participate in the process,” Frawley said.

“We request your support and any comments on this project,” she continued.

City Council voted to accept Frawley’s letter Monday, but took no formal action on it.

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