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Carbon OKs grant to move D&L

Published November 18. 2019 12:01PM

Carbon County is beginning the planning stages of a proposed project that will move hikers and bikers out of the county parking lot in Jim Thorpe and onto their own trail between the pedestrian bridge and the D&L trail connector at the north end of the lot.

On Thursday, the board voted to approve the execution of a grant between the county and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the construction of the pedestrian travel path. The grant, which the county secured in 2018, is for $403,986.

The commissioners again said the reason for the new path is to keep the visitors who utilize the trail safe because right now they must navigate the parking lot and hundreds of vehicles to get between the trailhead and the pedestrian bridge.

There are a number of options the county has been looking at and those options will be reviewed again by the new board after they are sworn in in January.

Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said that the time frame for the project beginning will be sometime early next year as long as things go well.

In a related matter, the commissioners said that a downsized ice rink proposal will allow the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency and Turn To Us to bring the rink from the north end of the parking lot to near the pedestrian bridge and closer to the center of town.

Nothstein said final details need to be worked out to ensure that the rink, which is now proposed at 20 by 44 feet, will fit in the location and not block access to the bridge, as well as the tourism agency obtaining the necessary insurance.

Commissioner William O’Gurek, who last week said that he felt the rink should be closer to town, again was supportive of the project.

“When you think about what they are offering,” he said, “I think it fits in with the whole Christmas environment that they’re trying to establish.”

What if they could make the sewer plant a multipurpose?
swimming in the summer, ice skating in the winter, with a fabulous $4.5M bridge to tie it all together.
The new $1M trail is needed, and I look forward to using it at completion in 2024.
Keep JT Great!
Proving that "Rust Never Sleeps", during the Mansion House Bridge fiasco, (2016-2019), the county was hard at work on this ancillary project. According to an article in the Times News online dated May 11, 2018, the county was notified by our State Senator that they had received the grant approx $400K. This is the $403,986.00 mentioned in the above article.

Then during the apex of the bridge debacle, on July 30, 2018, tnonline reported that they (our county commissioners) had awarded $53,800.00 (from the $403,986.00 grant) to Hanover Engineering to draw up the plan(s). I'm assuming that the plans are now ready and the project will go out for bid. If so, this is good news.

Two things to note. First, the engineering costs should have been taken from the original grant so that means the county will have $350,186.00 to actually spend on the trail improvements. Second, in the July 30 2018 article, it states clear as day that "the state" which I assume is the commonwealth, is projecting year 2021 as the build time frame. Roughly $20k, money from a previous grant, was also spent on the Master Plan, this I think was back in 2013. This means that to date, about $75,000.00 has been spent on this (trail in the parking lot) project.

It will be interesting to see what the bids actually look like when they come in and it will also be fun to see when the project begins, ends and what kind of havoc it, the actual construction process, causes in the county parking lot. Don't get me wrong, I hope it all goes smoothly, that construction is timely and causes minimal disruptions and the costs are in line with the Master Plan projections thus eliminating a repeat of the bridge funding drama.

It would be great if the county starts and finishes the construction in the off season. Given the lack of space in that location it is hard to imagine no trail closures during construction so getting this done when crowds are minimal would be a good idea.
A private trail and bridge to look at a shit plant. Follow the trail to another trail you're forbidden to hike on. Don't forget your flip-flops!

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