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Trailblazers – Township doing prep work on Picnic Woods Drive
For those who saw township dump trucks and earth moving equipment along the old railroad bed at Picnic Woods Drive last week, don’t get the wrong impression. The Lititz-to-Ephrata rail trail project is not ahead of schedule.
“We had some extra fill,” said Warwick Township manager Dan Zimmerman. “It’s all in preparation for when we do get to that part of the trail, but we won’t be there for another year or two.”
The eight mile recreational trail that traverses several municipalities is a major undertaking involving 78 private property owners in Warwick Township alone.
Still, planners remain optimistic that a 2017 completion date will be realized. The township is currently working on the trail phase that connects the municipal campus on Clay Road with Newport Road. That portion of the plan should be done by the end of this year.
In the meantime, Zimmerman said the township is focused on being a good neighbor to each of the property owners along the old rail line, which is what took the public works crew out to the Bollinger farm at Picnic Woods Drive last week. The township has been removing invasive vegetation along property lines, repairing old culverts and addressing amenities in hopes of making the trail a source of pride for all.
As the township inches eastward, Akron Borough and Ephrata Township are moving west on their portions of the trail. Zimmerman said the Cocalico Creek bridge and the crossing at Rothsville Road could be the most challenging parts of the project, and most expensive.