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York City to receive $1 million grant to complete northern Heritage Rail Trail project

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Betty Mitchell, left, and Theresa Smith, both of North Codorus Township, walk the Northern Extension of the Heritage Rail Trail head beginning at John C. Rudy County Park in East Manchester Township, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The friends frequent the trails in York County weekly. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York City is set to receive more than $1 million in state grant funding to cover the cost of completing the 5.7-mile long northern extension of the Heritage Rail Trail.

The City Council  unanimously voted Nov. 17 to permit the city to enter the $1,006,526 agreement to procure the funds distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program.

"We're looking at a situation where you can go from the Maryland line to John C. Rudy Park, which is amazing," said Chaz Green, the city's director of public works.

The project's completion will be particularly important because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the city has seen a "crazy" uptick in residents using the Rail Trail since the outbreak began, Green said.

Construction of the northern extension first began in 2007 to increase park services and recreational amenities in the area.

The grant will fund the fourth phase of the project, which will connect the trailhead at Pershing Avenue and West Philadelphia Street to the intersection of North George Street and Hamilton Avenue.

“Once that’s completed, it will be about 27 miles of (total) trail,” said Mike Fobes, director of the York County Parks & Recreation Department. 

Up until now, the northern extension project had cost $7,717,200 in total, according to the York County Rail Trail Authority.

The Northern Extension of the Heritage Rail Trail head beginning at John C. Rudy County Park in East Manchester Township, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

About $6.5 million of that total was funded by grants, and the remaining costs were covered by donations.

The final step in York City, which would bring the total to nearly $9 million, is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2021.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.

York County Heritage Rail Trail map