MANSFIELD — Steve McCloskey, a council member here, can’t help but smile from his vantage point atop the conduit adjacent to Mansfield Plaza. A planned trail to sit at the top of the conduit is a step closer to reality.
“This is a revitalization of community pride and spirit,” McCloskey said. “It’s a legacy project that will pay dividends for a hundred years.”
Gov. Tom Wolf announced last week that four Tioga County projects will receive a combined $1,083,900 in matching grants from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, including the $84,700 Mansfield Heritage Trail. . These funds will allow the borough to take the next step in developing the trail that will lead residents and visitors to the Lambs Creek Trail.
The new trail will be located at the top of the conduit installed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-1970s, McCloskey said. The conduit served Mansfield well, protecting the northern section from flooding for nearly 50 years. Soon it will serve to improve the community and attract visitors.
The Lambs Creek Trail starts behind the plaza and goes to the Lambs Creek Recreation Area about two miles away.
The Heritage Trail will visibly connect the Lambs Creek Trail to downtown Mansfield, increasing its visibility and usage, McCloskey said. The $84,700 is for the 0.25 mile section from North Main Street to Extension Street.
The borough began planning for the development of the trail about five years ago, McCloskey said. The council has set aside funds from Bill 13 to extend the trail from the trailhead to North Main Street.
To do this, they had to obtain a long-term lease from the Corps of Engineers to use the conduit.
The Corps and Borough are supporting the concept, with the Borough developing the trail and the Corps installing an ADA-accessible ramp from the conduit to the trailhead, he said.
When completed, the eight-foot-wide gravel path will invite visitors to walk from the Plaza or the residential area near Extension Street to the hiking and biking trail. It will also include benches and panels.
“People are going to know the trail is there. He’s gonna yell ‘step on me,'” McCloskey said.
Eventually, the borough hopes to extend the pedestrian path connection across all of Mansfield, using the levee along the Tioga River from the northern area to the borough’s southern border. Historical milestones are also part of the project and will be linked to the historical walking trail established by the History Center.
Borough Director Chris McGann said the borough applied for grants to meet its match for the DCNR grant. The borough hopes to tender both sections of the trail at the same time, likely in the summer of 2023, and construction will begin this fall.
Project partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State Representative Clint Owlett, State Senator Cris Dush, Mansfield University, Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, Commissioners of Develop Tioga and Tioga county.
- Township of Sullivan, $75,000 to continue development of the Annette Smith Memorial Park in Mainesburg. The works include the construction of pedestrian walkways, an internal loop path, a parking area, an access road and stormwater management measures; installation of interpretive panels; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements.
- Tioga County, $424,200 and $500,000 for the development of the Marsh Creek Greenway in the Borough of Wellsboro and the acquisition of land. The $424,000 will be used to build approximately 0.08 miles of trail between Pine Creek Rail Trail and Charleston Street and rehabilitate a bridge to provide a safe connection between the trailhead and downtown Wellsboro. . The remaining $500,000 will be used to purchase the railroad right-of-way, approximately 21.4 acres in the townships of Charleston and Delmar and the borough of Wellsboro, which includes approximately 2.4 miles of trail. The county hopes to begin tendering parts of the trail work by winter or spring, according to trail coordinator Deb Bigley.