In spring 2005, Big Hollow was filled
with activity as the contractor brought in equipment to
create the trail.
In 2002 The Pennsylvania State University was awarded $426,000
to help transform 1.3 miles of the former Bellefonte Central Railroad
bed from an informal path where shrubs and weeds prevailed, into
a pedestrian/bike trail that would benefit the local community,
recreational commuters, and visitors to the region.
The Arboretum served as the lead grant applicant in a regional
partnership with College, Ferguson, and Patton Townships, and
the Borough of State College, all of whom shared the initial design
costs of $71,214.
- The first grant for construction ($213,000) was awarded by
the Community Conservation Partnerships Program of the Pennsylvania
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) in July
- A second grant application for $213,000, intended to pay the
balance of construction costs, was awarded to the University
by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) in
For the next twenty months, a project management team consisting
of the municipal funding partners, Arboretum, PENNDOT, DCNR, and
Penn State's Office of Physical Plant coordinated the hiring of
a firm (Erdman/Anthony Associates, Inc.), the designing of the
trail, the procurement of environmental clearance and regulatory
permits, and the bidding process.
Members of the project management team and Penn State's
tree crew walk the trail corridor during the clearing and
SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDS AWARDED IN MARCH 2004
AND FEBRUARY 2005
In March 2004, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
awarded Penn State an additional $33,000 to pay for consultation,
engineering, and inspection costs related to a required change
in the trail design. Hydraulic studies had revealed the need to
create a large culvert to divert storm water from a natural ponding
area above the trail.
Construction of the trail, originally expected in 2004, had to
be delayed because the initial bids in July of that year exceeded
To help lower the cost of the project, the management team shortened
the initial trail by approximately one-fourth, and the University
agreed to convert the remaining section at a later date. PENNDOT
re-bid the project with the revised specifications in December
2004. When the bids were again too high, the Centre County Metropolitan
Planning Organization (the local body responsible for federal
transportation enhancement funds) granted Penn State's request
for an additional $87,790 so that the University could award a
construction contract to the lowest bidder, C. H. & D. Enterprises,
Construction began in April 2005. A final inspection walk by
the project management team was held on November 10, 2005.