LOCK HAVEN – This was a short working session filled with updates on a major county project for Clinton County Commissioners.
Community planner Matt Croak provided a timeline for the completion of Phase 4 of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail project that is underway in Wayne Township.
“I was told on March 23 that (Glenn O.) Hawbaker was back,” Croak said. “At the moment we expect them to be completed by June this year.”
Hawbaker had intended to start earlier but was put on hold for the bald eagle nesting season.
Croak said the project ran into delays last summer due to difficulties acquiring materials and labor. “A lot of things that COVID has impacted. So hopefully they will be finished by June,” he said.
The bulk of Phase 4, of the six-phase project, involves rehabilitating the railroad bridge that connects Wayne Township to Pine Creek Township.
“Once the bridge is completed…the project will connect Wayne Township to Pine Creek Township,” Croak said.
The more than $2 million rehabilitation project is funded primarily by a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant from PennDOT, with funding coming from a Community Partnerships Grant through DCNR and the county’s Act 13 bridge fund.
From there, Phase 5 will take place and will see construction along Old River Road.
“Phase 5 runs along Old River Road which connects us to Tiadaghton Elm (and) eventually the Jersey Shore Rail Trail”, Croak said.
The engineering and design of the fifth phase is in progress. “Everything looks very positive for phase five,” Croak said.
Phase 6, the final stage of this multi-year project, is being studied and planned by McTish Kunkel & Associates.
Outside of trail construction, Croak said the county is working with the Township of Castanea to have a storage shed placed near the trailhead. The shed, built by Pine Creek Structures, was paid for with a grant from the Clinton County Community Foundation.
“Essentially we’ll be using it to house the tractor and a lot of our maintenance items that we need for the trail to meet some of our needs during the busier months,” Croak said.
The county is waiting for Castanea to level the ground and prepare it for delivery. That could happen in the next three weeks or so, Croak said.
On the subject of trail maintenance, Croak referred to the volunteer work of the Friends of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail.
Croak called the all-volunteer organization a “huge asset” and said the members recently completed their work on Saturday, April 2.
Picking up litter and laying down concrete slabs for the benches were the main projects of the day.
“I think we put one in the Spook Hollow Road section and a couple on the Wayne Township side,” Croak talked about concrete slabs.
The benches, donated by the Friends of BEVT, will be set up during the group’s next volunteer day in October.
“We are always looking for more volunteers” Croak said. “If you would like to get involved… the next Friends of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail meeting will be May 10.”
Croak said the group usually meets either in the Piper building or, when the weather is nice, at the pavilion outside.
Those wishing to get involved ahead of the meeting can join the group’s Facebook page “Friends of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail.”
Commissioners will hold a voting session Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Piper Building. The meeting will also be streamed live on the department’s Facebook page.