Senator takes hike to show importance of fixing D&L Trail gap

 

The D&L Heritage Trail stretches 165 miles.

Around 93 percent is complete, however, a 7-mile stretch isn't and an area state senator is doing more than just talking to spread the word on the trail's importance.

As promised to his constituents, Carbon County State Senator John Yudichak is walking the entire 165 mile D&L trail to celebrate the Eagles' Super Bowl win.

However, the trek through Allentown turns off the trail and onto the street, as there's a 7-mile gap in the route.

The goal is to connect all five counties that make up the D&L path.

On Friday, members of the D&L National Heritage Corridor, area officials and conservationists gathered at Jaindl's Waterfront location to celebrate the trail and to stress the need to close the urban gap.

"Once you hit 100 miles the economics kick in," said Elissa Garofalo, executive director of the trail.

From Wilkes Barre to Bristol, Bucks County, the trail traces the region's industrial past.

Garofalo says a connected trail has eight times the economic impact compared to one that's fragmented.

The county has just shy of $2 million to not only develop the trail but to also create a recreational loop.

"Our goal is to acquire land from Hamilton to Cementon," said Rick Molchany of Lehigh County.

The county hopes to have that done in the next five years.

Allentown is also working on a park near MLK Boulevard that will feed into the D&L Trail.

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is applying for a $20 million grant to get work done further north into Whitehall Township.

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