Group raising funds to reopen Pinkerton Tunnel
Just noticed this in the PG — the Somerset County Rails to Trails Assn is raising funds to reopen the Pinkerton Tunnel.
This would be great, because the detour around the tunnel is a pain.
Kind of annoying they don’t seem to accept donations online. Here’s the address you’re supposed to send money to:
Somerset County Rails-to-Trails Association, Attn: Pinkerton, P.O. Box 413, Somerset, PA 15501.
My comment on that PG article:
I enjoy the current route around Pinkerton Horn; it’s one of my favorite sections of the GAP trail. So I don’t see reopening of the Pinkerton tunnel as a priority.
I would rather see bicycle trail money go where there is a bigger need, such as:
* extend Duck Hollow Trail in Pittsburgh to connect to Hazelwood and to Braddock;
* connect GAP to Duck Hollow Trail at the Rankin Hot Metal Bridge (currently closed) and the Glenwood Bridge (currently lousy);
* connect GAP to Braddock across the Rankin Bridge (the “car bridge”) (currently unsafe);
* Mayor Murphy’s East End Loop: a good bike route from Duck Hollow thru Frick Park to Highland Park and Aspinwall.
Here is where you can make donations online ($25 minimum):
It would be great to get this tunnel finished! I always consider pinkerton to be the most remote section on the GAP just you and nature.
paulheckbert wrote:* connect GAP to Braddock across the Rankin Bridge (the “car bridge”) (currently unsafe);
This bridge has sidewalks, it’s just that there is no real connection to the rest of the pedestrian infrastrucure on the homestead side of the bridge. No crosswalks (well, there is one at the intersection, but it’s pretty worn out and traffic never stops flowing to allow peds to cross), and some really dangerous road crossings and ramps. Let’s just dump pedestrians out in between two lanes of traffic, they can figure it out.
This bridge really needs to have a safe cycling connection to the gap trail and homestead. If one of those was the case, It would be a huge improvement.
I don’t see this as an either/or thing. A group some distance out from the city sees the closed tunnel as an impediment, which seems reasonable. Though I’ve never been out that way and am not likely ever to do so, I can understand their point. A highway analogy: If I-76 had a collapsed bridge and all traffic was shunted onto local roads for a few miles, eventually they would want the bridge fixed, not hold up the project because people at one end of I-76 wanted improvements to some access ramps.
OTOH, those local access points really do merit getting some work done. Improving access to trails in general will increase use of trails overall. Can we find different funding sources for them, and just get them done?
There’s a snafu with the Pinkerton Bypass. You know all those historic stories about conniving railroads n’at. Wonder where they came from?
Originally, the railroad got a permit to dump the debris from the daylighting operation on top of the ridge that sits above the bypass-detour. (The reason for the daylighting is increased profitability after the widening of the Panama Canal, but that’s another story)
Then the railroad did something tricky, filed some amended paperwork with the local authorities and in the fine print it allowed them to dump the debris from both the Pinkerton work site and also from other regional worksites on top of that ridge.
They were going to save a lot of money that way, and they screwed up and got greedy, and they dumped so much on top of that ridge without securing it correctly that now it tends to spill down the hill, right onto the bypass-detour-GAP trail thingy.
So three years ago, everybody said: You can’t fix that tunnel. Now everybody says, Hey we can fix that tunnel! Amazing. Just My .02
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