CamTran on Friday supplied the missing link for an uninterrupted, off-street recreation trail stretching along the Stonycreek River to Sandyvale Cemetery, with on-street networks through the city.
“This is a really significant move forward,” Brad Clemenson of Lift Johnstown said after CamTran agreed to transfer its railroad property to Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority.
Lift Johnstown is among several groups working to develop an urban trail system and other recreation opportunities to improve the quality of life for city residents.
CamTran turned over the
former Stonycreek Railroad property from Central Avenue near the Coal Tubin’ business and extending behind the former U.S. Steel plant.
It connects to another trail right of way from the existing James Mayer Riverswalk Trail at Bridge Street. The other end connects to a trailway around Greater Johnstown High School and through part of Horners-town to the Mayer Trail Sandyvale Garden Extension.
When completed, the 31⁄2-mile trail will be a valuable asset for the city, Clemenson said.
His group is spearheading a project today that will help connect the yet-to-be-constructed trail through the city. Volunteers from Pitt-Johnstown will be helping designate a
“Share the Road” bike lane along Somerset Street by stenciling multicolored logos on the pavement.
Hollidaysburg artist Michael Allison developed the design and will train and supervise the students.
Cambria County Transit Authority’s action at its regular meeting on Friday specified that CamTran kept its right to salvage rail materials.
“We have to take care of the railroad crossing at Central Avenue,” authority Chairman Ed Cernic Jr. said. “We will use the money from the rails to restore the crossing.”
CamTran no longer has any use for the property, Cernic said.
“We can see the value of the trail,” he said. “It’s good for the community. It’s good for everybody.”
Randy Griffith covers transportation for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ photogriffer57.