Crossing Route 66 remains the main challenge for its completion, but the plan this year is to bring the Westmoreland Heritage Trail about 700 feet closer to Delmont.
The Export Council this week gave trail officials the green light to move forward with extending the western half of the trail from Lincoln Avenue.
Construction of the fourth phase of the trail, connecting Murrysville and Export, was completed with some state funding remaining, said Westmoreland County Parks Planning Coordinator Jeff Richards.
“It will extend from Lincoln, about 700 feet east,” Richards said. “We want to work together with the borough and the master plan you are developing.
Export officials are working to create a unified downtown, centered around the confluence of the trail, the war memorial, and the newly constructed replica of the borough’s old train station.
Richards pitched the idea of building the trail wider than 10 feet, citing feedback he received from trail users.
But Councilman John Nagoda and attorney Wes Long challenged the extension of the trail easements, citing their concerns about parking on both sides of the trail.
Long recommended that the easement be 14 feet in total and that a series of curb stops be moved farther from their proposed location.
Richards also proposed burying an electrical conduit that would run parallel to the trail, so the borough could install lighting in the future without having to do major excavation. The new section of trails would also include parking and trail access that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bob Genter of Mackin Engineering said the new section will be made of crushed limestone gravel. Signs will direct trail users to park farther east, leaving existing spaces closer to the main shopping and dining area on Washington Avenue.
Richards did not say when work should begin.