A northern extension of the York County Heritage Rail Trail got a boost this week when the state announced it will finance most of a 2.5 mile stretch that will nearly complete the project.
The $921,656 grant to York County Rail Trail Authority will cover construction of a 2.5 mile water infiltration system along Codorus Creek and an infiltration system in a parking lot, eliminating urban storm water runoff into the "impaired waterway," said Paul Marchetti, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.
The environmental improvement grant comes from a combination of state funds and federal grants to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Gwen Loose, the authority's executive director, said the grant will also cover construction of the 2.5 miles of trail along the creek. The new section of trail will join a portion of trail that starts at John Rudy County Park, extending the trail from Emig Road to Route 30 in Springettsbury Township.
When the new section is complete, only about 1.5 miles will remain before the northern extension joins the 26-mile portion of trail that starts at Philadelphia Street in York City and runs to Maryland, Loose said.
The 29-space parking lot will be constructed near the intersection of Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road, she said.
It will cost $1.i6 million total to build the trail and parking lot, with state grants funding the portion that's not covered under the new grant, she said.
Loose said she's hoping construction can go to bid within the next six months, with the project being completed "sometime in 2013."
Water-related projects: The grant, announced earlier this week, is part of a $115 million effort to fund 28 water-related projects in 17 counties.
Marchetti said that, without the infiltration systems, sediment that can carry harmful nitrates would run into the creek and end up in Chesapeake Bay.
"This system will capture runoff and keep it from going into the creek," he said.
Gov. Tom Corbett said in a statement that the projects will "significantly contribute to improved waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay," and create hundreds of new jobs. He said the projects "serve the dual purposes of responsible environmental stewardship and steadfast economic recovery..."
Loose said it's not clear how many jobs the local project will create, as the project has not been bid.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @YDYorkCounty.