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The D&L’s list of trail projects is long and ranges from very large bridge projects to quite small improvements to improve safety. Although these smaller projects are not glamorous, they are critically important to keeping trail users safe and making the trail enjoyable to the widest variety of people, abilities, and uses possible.
For those of you familiar with the trail north from White Haven, you may be familiar with the spot we call the Middleburg Road Crossing. The trail is bisected by Middleburg Road, but is also offset by about 400 feet. Basically, the DCNR Bureau of State Parks section of the trail south of Middleburg Road is 400 feet east of the DCNR Bureau of Forestry section north of Middleburg Road. So, the trail parallels the road for this short jaunt, in addition to crossing an active railroad track.
To date, the D&L has recommended that trail users exercise utmost caution when traversing Middleburg Road. We admit that the lack of shoulders, poor sight lines between cars and pedestrians, and high speed limit make this route a less than ideal place to share the road, but it has been the safest option. Not wanting to settle for “just ok”, the D&L began working on improving this crossing back in 2014. After many years of right-of-way agreements and design work, this project is finally underway.
This project was designed and planned with two components- the trail part and the railroad part. If you use the trail in this section today, you will notice that some, but not all, of the improvements are in place to move trail users off the road and onto their own pathway parallel to Middleburg Road. The majority of the trail improvements are in place, but with winter upon us, however, the project has gone into “Winter Shut Down”. In spring, the railroad will install the pieces needed to cross the active train tracks safely, after which the contractor will return to complete the trail improvements. Until then, this section will remain closed as it is still not safe for pedestrians to cross the railroad tracks.
We hope you’ll join D&L and our project partners for a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2018 when this section is complete!