HARRISBURG, Pa., June 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today announced it will invest $2 million in capital budget monies to improve the connection between the Great Allegheny Passage and Point State Park in Pittsburgh.
"Pennsylvania is home to one of the most spectacular rail-trails in the country, the Great Allegheny Passage," DCNR State Parks Bureau Director Dave Kemmerer said. "This connector trail will bring the trail into the newly renovated Point State Park, along the Monongahela Wharf, to Pittsburgh's iconic fountain."
The connector project will be a traffic-free, non-motorized ramp that will connect Point State Park to the western side of the Mon Wharf Landing. Currently, the only access in this area is a four-foot-wide path adjacent to Interstate 376, and it requires passage through a service parking lot at Point State Park.
This improved connection, along with a planned switchback on the Mon Wharf, will allow commuters, bikers, downtown residents and the users of Great Allegheny Passage to continue all the way into Point State Park on a traffic-free, non-motorized route. The connector project design already is underway.
Ceremonies at Point State Park at 1 p.m. on Saturday will include the unveiling of the "Forks of the Ohio" marker at the park marking the western end of the Great Allegheny Passage.
DCNR Deputy Secretary Cindy Dunn, who will participate in the nine-mile bike ride from Sandcastle to Point State Park Saturday, said throughout the years the department has invested close to $10 million in grant funds in completing the Great Allegheny Passage.
"We've made investments not only in the construction of the path, but also in connections to trail towns, to tie destinations together, to provide visitors with opportunities for wellness, recreation and a chance to connect with nature, and to protect our history and natural resources," Dunn said.
For more information about the Great Allegheny Passage, visit www.atatrail.org.
To learn more about Point State Park go to www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Christina Novak, DCNR, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources