Over 18 miles of the rail-trail have been completed to date, mostly from the Lancaster County line northward to the City of Lebanon. Extensive routine maintenance continues to occur on the built sections of the rail-trail.
Rail-Trail Reconstruction and Safety Improvements
Thanks to Senator Chris Gebhard for securing a $600,000 grant from DCED this spring, the existing rail-trail will benefit from the following improvements … paving the trail surface between the Expo Center and the Wilhelm Avenue Bridge; constructing one 6-foot wide connector trail; paving selected areas in the Cornwall area where tree roots have damaged the surface of the trail; doing safety improvements at PA Route 419 by installing a cross alert flasher; and resurfacing with fine stones between Mine Road and Colebrook. (Please note that the 6-foot connector path will be paid for by a nearby resident.) This project should be completed in 2022.
Phase 6A from 12th Street in the City of Lebanon west to 16th Street — In mid-April of 2021, the County resubmitted its application to DCNR funds to do Phase 1 of the John E. Wengert Memorial Park, which includes some Phase 6A rail-trail work.
Phases 6A and 6B (which runs along Chestnut Street from 16th Street to 22nd Street) could go to a bid letting in late 2021 or very early 2022 with construction starting in the spring of 2022, if we get approval from DCNR this fall on our mid-April 2021 grant application. Phase 6B is fully funded.
Phase 6C (which runs along S. 22nd Street from Chestnut Street to Cumberland Street) — Right-of-way negotiations are nearly complete with North Cornwall Township, the Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club and the City of Lebanon Authority along South 22nd Street. PennDOT has also committed over $1.1 million for Phase 6C improvements as part of the turnback of S. 22nd Street to North Cornwall Township. In early October, the County submitted a $1.3 million grant application to PennDOT for Transportation Alternative Set-Aside (TASA) Funds for Phase 6C. The above mentioned $1.1 million is a partial match for this project, along with $1.0 million from the Lebanon County Commissioners, $200,000 from North Cornwall Township and $25,000 from LVRT, Inc. Besides the rail-trail, this project also includes a new vehicular bridge, a partial relocation of S. 22nd Street and safety improvements at both intersections. We hope to hear something positive on this grant application in mid-2022.
With Phase 6D, we are working with the owners of the Lebanon Valley Mall on a long-term permanent linear easement through their property. Phase 6D could be built in 2025 or 2026. No funds are in place for that project right now.
Shared Use 1.8 Mile Path in N. Lebanon Township was completed in mid-2019. The project runs from just north of the railroad underpass behind the Lebanon Valley Mall northward to Long Lane.
Preferred Alignment To Be Determined. A study is currently underway to determine the preferred alignment for the rail-trail from Long Land northward to the Bunker Hill area.
Between New Bunker Hill Road and north of US Route 22 — Completed in three separate phases from 2016 to 2021.
North of US Route 22 for 3 miles to a connection to the trail system in Swatara State Park near Lickdale, PA.
Phase 10A – north of US Route 22 to Pine Tree Road — Construction in 2022 on the former canal tow path.
Phase 10B from Pine Tree Road to a Connection with the Trails in Swatara State Park — Two property owner easements have just been secured in the Lickdale area, making the rail-trail right-of-way whole for future construction that will tie into the Swatara State Park trail system. Agreements for these easements will be executed promptly. More grants will now be pursued for Phase 10B which could be built in the next few years.
PennDOT/Lebanon County/LVRT, Inc. Initiative – Inwood Iron Bridges Project — completed in late 2020 with a new vehicular bridge over Swatara Creek at Inwood and with the restored historic Inwood Iron Bridge being relocated to a new county mini-park in the Inwood area. The County and LVRT, Inc. are also exploring the possibility of building a spur tail from the new vehicular bridge south along Swatara Creek to the county park where the historic truss bridge is located.
Updated on October 26, 2021