Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Jim Thorpe trail has some roadblocks

The trail would connect the recently repaired Nesquehoning Trestle at the Lehigh Gorge, which is now open to bike and walking traffic, to downtown Jim Thorpe.
The county applied for a $360,000 Community Conservation Partnerships Program grant. The county expected to match 20 percent, or $72,000. Commissioner Chairman William O'Gurek said the county now is expected to match 50 percent of the grant, or $180,000.

Also holding back the trail project is the question of right-of-way. O'Gurek said bikers and hikers who cross the Nesquehoning Trestle are technically trespassing on land owned by Frank Foster. O'Gurek said neither DCNR nor the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, the lead agency behind the project, ever got an easement to cross Foster's property.

O'Gurek said he would not recommend that people use the repaired railroad bridge because of the legal issue.

Commissioners said they don't anticipate work on the trail until 2008.

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