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The York County Rail Trail Authority received a $950,000 grant in July from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority to complete the next phase of the Heritage Rail Trail Northern Extension Project. Wochit

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The York County Rail Trail Authority will have nearly $2 million to connect the Heritage Rail Trail between Springettsbury Township and York City, thanks to numerous grants.

The authority recently scooped $950,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority to add to a $100,000 grant it received in June from the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, according to a news release.

The Rail Trail Authority also brought in $20,000 in July from the York County Community Foundation’s Codorus Watershed Endowment to cover engineering and permitting costs for this phase of the authority’s Northern Extension.

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Gwen Loose, executive director of the York County Rail Trail Authority, said her organization now has just about $2 million, which should cover all costs for Phase 3 of the extension project.

Phase 3: Loose said the authority soon will start soliciting bids from contractors for this section of the project, which will connect the Heritage Rail Trail from Route 30 in Springettsbury Township to the intersection of North George Street and Hamilton Avenue.

Phase 3 construction is scheduled to begin in February, and Loose said the authority hopes to complete that portion of the project by the end of next year.

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The authority’s plans indicate contractors will build a ramp in the parking lot at Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road to connect the trail to the southern walkway on Route 30 across Codorus Creek. A trail will then run south along the west bank of Codorus Creek to Willis Run.

That .7-mile stretch of the trail also will require contractors to build a drainage system that could be “pretty complex” because of the trail’s proximity to Codorus Creek, Loose said.

A bridge over Willis Run will connect the trail to the intersection of North George Street and Hamilton Avenue, where Phase 4 of the project begins.

Loose said officials from York City and Downtown Inc will take the lead for Phase 4, which will connect the trail from Hamilton Avenue to the current trailhead near Pershing Avenue and West Philadelphia Street.

'Ready to go': When finished, the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will extend more than 25 miles from John Rudy County Park in East Manchester Township to the Northern Central Rail Trail in Maryland. 

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The trail will connect several population centers, such as North York and York City, making it easier for tens of thousands of people to access the trails close to home and work, Loose said. 

Now that essential funding has been secured, Loose said authority officials must deliver the construction project on schedule and within budget.

“It’s terrific. We never take that for granted,” Loose said of the broad funding support. “When we get an award like this, we have to produce now.

“We’re ready to go.”

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