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Groundbreaking Celebration for Phase 1 of Brady Tunnel Trail Project to Be Held on May 20

Thursday, May 16, 2019 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

bradyCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Commissioners announced at their Tuesday morning meeting that a groundbreaking celebration for Phase 1 of the Brady Tunnel Trail Project will be held on Monday, May 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

(Pictured above: Closed Brady Tunnel, South portal-July 2015 Photo courtesy

Chris Ziegler, of the Allegheny Land Trust, said progress of the project is moving along.

“We do have the first 50 feet designed and spent a couple of days diverting water into the portal, so the subcontractor doesn’t have to deal with that. We are in the bidding process,” said Ziegler.

Ziegler earlier explained that the tunnel leads to a spur that goes off to the right and in a half mile connects with five additional miles owned by Allegheny Valley Land Trust on the other side of the tunnel.  East Brady is a spur and that is the thruway that is on the main part of the Pittsburgh to Erie Trail.

The tunnel is instrumental in the success of the Erie to Pittsburgh corridor, according to Ziegler.

The project includes a liner abut 750 ft. north and about 450 ft. on the south entrance.

The project is being funded by several grants and is expected to cost a total of $5 million when it is completed.

Commissioners approved on Tuesday Resolution #15 of 2019 for a $3 million application for a DCED Multimodal Grant.

There is no county match on the grant, according to Ziegler.

“The estimate, until the engineering design is done, we won’t really have a number,” said Ziegler at an earlier meeting. “The feasibility study from about 2014 is about $6 million, but that’s treating every inch of the tunnel.  We don’t have to do anything with the middle of the tunnel and it’s in excellent condition. We’re probably closer to $5 million.”

“It’s going to be a nice project when it’s done,” said Commissioner Ted Tharan.

Commissioners also approved a resolution opposing changes made to the Medical Assistance Transportation Program. The opposition stems from the measure that takes local control away from the transportation program and gives it to three brokers from out of state who would manage the system.

“Everybody thinks it’s a bad idea, and everyone thinks it’s crazy,” said Commissioner Wayne Brosius at the earlier work session. “The changes were made in the MATP law at the last minute in the last Commonwealth budget — there were a few hours left, and they put in an amendment. It’s going to cost more in the long run when you look at the increased costs to the other programs.”

Several hires were approved for Children Youth Services.  Barb Plummer was hired to fill the vacant position of Caseworker Supervisor, effective May 13 at a salary of $38,854.40 and increasing to $41,841.94 when she completes CORE and supervisor training. Kevin Latchaw, a current casework supervisor, receive a salary adjustment to $41,841.94 to be consistent with Civil Service. CYS has three casework supervisors.

Amanda Gregory and Emily McGregor were also hired to fill the vacant positions of CYS Caseworker I effective May 6 with salaries of $28,267.20.

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