COSTS OF MAINTAINING RAIL-TRAIL

Routine maintenance of a rail-trail requires mowing, trimming overhanging brush and trees, removing fallen trees, and cleaning ditches and culverts. In 2012, MRTC traded in its 10-year old John Deere tractor and purchased a new tractor to maintain the trail. This nearly $25,000 investment in maintenance equipment will allow us to continue to mow and brush cut the 48-mile trail four times a year for a total of 384 miles. The 2011 boom mower purchased with grant funds from a Department of Transportation Recreational Trail Grant was mounted on the new tractor.

 

Investment in Long-term Upkeep

The most difficult challenge facing the Mon River Trails Conservancy is the need for capital investment in the long-term costs of the rail-trail.

On average, a non-asphalt trail needs re-surfacing every ten years and for asphalt trails this number rises slightly to 15-17 years.

Trail maintenance equipment includes a truck, a trailer, and a tractor, which are used almost daily and year-round. These assets require routine and preventative maintenance.

Funders and Partners of the Routine Trail Maintenance and Equipment:

  • Board of Parks and Recreation Commission (BOPARC)
  • City of Morgantown
  • Marion County Commission
  • Monongalia County Commission
  • 2016 Parks, Trails, and Recreational Programs Levy
  • Division of Highways DOT Recreational Trail Grant Program (for equipment)

 

DECKERS CREEK RAIL-TRAIL RESURFACING PROJECT

MRTC currently is fund-raising and planning to resurface 13 miles of the Deckers Creek Rail-Trail from Rock Forge to the end of Mile 19 / end of the rail-trail.

The Deckers Creek Resurfacing project is partially funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.

 

DECKERS CREEK RAIL-TRAIL UNDERCUT PROJECT

A natural rotating landslide next to the Deckers Creek Rail-Trail (near mile 2) and stream bank erosion from a curve in Deckers Creek is causing damage to a 400-foot section of the Deckers Creek Rail-Trail.   The trail surface is cracking, there is significant erosion around trail safety fencing, and the foundation of the trail is being cut away into the creek. MRTC is working on repairs that will include stream bank stabilization and repairs to Deckers Creek Trail surface and foundation;

The Deckers Creek Trail Undercut Repair project is partially funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.

Funders and Partners of the Deckers Creek Trail Undercut Repair:

  • Alpha Associates Engineering
  • Board of Parks and Recreation Commission (BOPARC)
  • City of Morgantown
  • Division of Highways DOT Recreational Trail Grant Program
  • Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust
  • People for Bikes Grant Program

 

TRAIL VOLUNTEER MILE-MARKER PROJECT- 2016 underway

Trail volunteers are working on the replacement of mile-marker signs on the Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trails that have been vandalized or have weathered with age. Mile-markers on the 48-mile rail-trail network have been in place for over 10 years. They provide a simple and vital service for trail users to find amenities and plan trips, set exercise routines, or plan commutes to work and school. They also serve a key need for trail managers to locate maintenance issues such as removing downed trees, clearing landslides, or dealing with other issues that may pertain to access gates, bridges, or shelters. Mile-markers also are part of a regional safety plan and allow a way for emergency medical agencies to find trail users and provide aid when needed.

Funders and Partners of the Trail Volunteer Mile-Marker Project:

  • Sam Gorski, eagle scout project and Boy Scout Troop 44
  • Trail Volunteer Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

MON RIVER TRAILS ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

As part of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition efforts, the Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trails currently have 4 TrafX counters and one eco-counter that are counting trail usage. Data from the counters will be used in a Rails to Trails Conservancy’s economic impact study to measure the benefits of the Mon River Trails system. In addition the counters allow MRTC to track usage for transportation planning, leverage grant funding, and to encourage smart land use on adjacent properties.

Trails increasingly demonstrate their significance in community transformation through economic activity by trail users both visitors and locals. The latest study on the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage calculated an annual $50 million in direct economic impact to trail communities. The 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Pittsburgh, a system more frequented by residents, generates a $7 million annual economic impact.