A $3 million grant will provide the missing link for a long-awaited rail trail completion.

The Enola Low Grade Rail Trail has been an ongoing project for RETTEW’s client, Manor Township, in Lancaster County, PA.

Sections of the trail have been completed over the past several years, with the final piece being the Safe Harbor railroad trestle bridge, a hundred-year-old structure to be converted to a pedestrian footpath.

The bridge will connect the Manor Township section of the trail to other portions for a full 28 miles, from Turkey Point to the Chester County line.

Safe Harbor bridge is closed for safety, and Manor Township has worked with RETTEW to inspect the structure and complete preliminary designs for its restoration and eventual use.

RETTEW’s Community Development team, part of our Civil/Municipal Engineering group, assisted Manor Township in writing and submitting a grant application to the state of Pennsylvania for funding to update the bridge. We’ve been waiting patiently to hear, and in May, Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announced $3 million from a federal program to improve transportation options and improve accessibility.

The grant is double any of the other grants awarded (82 total) statewide.

Manor Township, with our help, has also secured $2.3 million in grant funding from Lancaster County for this rail trail project, as well as other funding needed.

All told, the bridge project is now less than $1 million away from its total funding needs, which will be gathered via a capital campaign in the township.

Next steps on the project include design and engineering of the structure over the next year or so. Construction could begin in 2020!