Bellefonte Central Rail Trail

Erdman Anthony provided field survey, planning, and design services for a new 1.3-mi multi-use recreational trail at Pennsylvania State University. The trail ran on a primarily north-south route, connecting the existing McKee Street/Clinton Avenue bike path at its southern end with the Toftrees Avenue exercise path at its northern end and passing under US Rte 322 on an existing railroad grade. The trail crosses the grounds of the arboretum at Penn State, which was in the planning stages when trail design began.

The design team faced several issues, including aesthetically blending the new trail with the arboretum and minimizing sinkhole impacts to the trail, which is in limestone-prevalent terrain. The trail itself consisted of crushed limestone with a section of asphalt where it intersects an existing service road used by Penn State's maintenance vehicles. Storm water drainage was an important part of the design, and a culvert was designed to carry the trail over a tributary of Big Hollow Run. The design team prepared a hydrologic/hydraulic report and structural details for this culvert. Volunteers completed clearing and grubbing for the project.

Erdman Anthony coordinated with a number of local agencies -- including the University Area Joint Authority, Centre Region Bike Coalition, Centre Rails-to-Trails Association, Centre County Planning Office, State College Borough, and three local townships to make the project a success. The local community ultimately plans to extend this bike path to Bellefonte, providing an off-road route that runs through the scenic and historic Buffalo Run Valley. Design submissions were made to Penn State University, as well as DCNR and PennDOT, for funding approval and to PADEP for environmental permitting. Design culminated in final construction drawings containing plans, specifications, and estimates for the new recreational trail. Erdman Anthony also provided construction observation services for the project.

Project Details


State College, PA


Pennsylvania State University

Project Contact

Robert Leonard, PE
  • Robert Leonard, PE
  • 717-766-1741 x 5006
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