Cost estimates announced for proposed Paoli Pike Trail

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
East Goshen Township is looking into the possibility of building a trail along Paoli Pike. (McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners)

East Goshen Township is looking into the possibility of building a trail along Paoli Pike. (McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners)

EAST GOSHEN — It has been four months since the idea of a Paoli Pike Trail was presented to the East Goshen Board of Supervisors and after some committee meetings, discussions, planning and fine tuning, McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners announced a rough cost of it all on Tuesday.

Natasha Manbeck, project manager with McMahon, announced to the board a total cost of $7.659 million.

“Our estimates are based on our conceptual plan, which was prepared with aerial imagery and GIS data and any other available data that we could glean from previous land development plans or PennDOT right-of-way plans,” she said. “It is not based on survey data. We are at a very conceptual level, and therefore are estimates are very conceptual.”

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From there, the cost is broken down to match the seven sections of the trail, labeled ‘A’ through ‘G.’

The cost of the trail was determined by numerous factors, including construction, inspection, engineering and permitting, utilities and right-of-way.

All figures are also based on 2015 prices and could change in future years as the trail progresses.

“The construction costs are based on quantities that we developed from the concept plan for materials and unit process from recently bid local PennDOT projects,” Manbeck said. “We have rough estimates for the temporary and permanent easements. Basically, we identified an area that will need easements and applied a cost-per-area to that for each section. It does not include the cost of the legal fees associated with the right-of-way process.”

Temporary easements will be needed during the construction of the trail.

“The township has made a concerted effort to make sure that all the property owners that are directly impacted by the trail are aware of the plan and have an opportunity to review the concept,” Manbeck said. “The township, through the solicitor, has answered a number of questions related to the acquisition processes.”

The two costliest sections are ‘B’ and ‘E.’

‘B’ runs from Ellis Lane to Reservoir Road while ‘E’ covers Goshen Village to Route 352.

“The two longest segments are the most expensive,” Manbeck said. “These segments have features that make them a little bit more complex and costly to do. In ‘B,’ the complexity is the crossing of the stream and the wetlands and the bridge associated with that. In ‘E,’ it’s the roadway work that’s associated with shifting the travel lanes and providing curbed section and trail on the south side.”

However, as Manbeck also pointed out, there are a lot of funding sources out there the township could try and use to help defer the cost.

“There are a number of funding sources that could be utilized to implement the trail,” she said. “There are public funds and private funds. We focused primarily on competitive grant programs that are available at federal, state, regional and county levels.”

Some of the grants need to be applied for before the end of the year, which both the township and McMahon will look into.

For the near future, the latter part of the trail will be the current focus because it won’t need as much work or as much money to start.

“Our initial recommendation is to focus on the central and eastern portion to build upon what the township already has at Applebrook and to focus on the town center between Reservoir Road and Route 352,” Manbeck said. “Part of the thought process is if you went out and built ‘B’ today, it wouldn’t provide much utility. The real benefit of ‘B’ comes when you have connections with town center.”

Though the cost is a little steep, the supervisors are interested in looking into the different funding and grants offers out there.

The idea from the very beginning was to have the jump on the surrounding townships, which they still hope to do.

“Our goal is to try and get started first and get done first so that we have the best shot at leading the parade,” said Marty Shane, chair of the supervisors.


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