Ray on 7/13/2010 9:39:10 AM:
Sandcastle nearing bike trail agreement
Last link in Great Allegheny Passage
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
By Jon Schmitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Allegheny County and Sandcastle Waterpark are expected to announce an
agreement within days that will allow completion of the last missing piece
of a biking and hiking trail linking Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.
"I really expect we'll have a formal announcement in the next couple days,"
said James Judy, vice president of operations for Palace Entertainment,
owner of the park.
"I believe that is probably going to be the case," agreed county spokesman
The deal would cap years of negotiations aimed at finding a way to
accommodate the trail on the park's narrow strip of land between a railroad
line and the Monongahela River.
The roughly one-mile stretch is the last link in the 150-mile Great
Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md., where it connects to
the C&O Towpath to Washington.
When all is complete, it will be possible to bike about 335 continuous,
mostly flat miles from Pittsburgh to the nation's capital without
interference from motorized traffic.
The former owners of Sandcastle for years resisted efforts to build the
trail through the park, saying there wasn't enough room.
"The next time you visit Sandcastle take a close look at the tight access
road and try to visualize a 10-foot-wide trail running between the road and
the railroad tracks. I hope you will conclude that not having the available
land wide enough for a trail does not make us stubborn," said Peter McAneny,
then-president of Kennywood Entertainment, in a 2008 letter to the
Mr. McAneny and county officials announced later that year that a deal was
close, but the talks got sidetracked when Kennywood Park and Sandcastle were
"We're thrilled to be on the trail," Mr. Judy said in a pho