Pennsylvania took another step this spring toward completing the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (DLNHC), a 165-mile trail between Bristol and Wilkes-Barre. Officials recently broke ground for a 250-foot bridge over the Lehigh River that will connect cyclists and hikers to the business district of Jim Thorpe in Carbon County.
“In 2012, without this major connection in the D&L trail, an economic impact analysis completed by the Rails to Trails Conservancy estimated the total user-spending generated because of the D&L Trail at over $19 million annually,” said Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “With the closing of this gap in Jim Thorpe and with the eventual completion of the trail within our sights, we are anticipating the D&L Trail could approach $50 million per year.”
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a public-private partnership involving residents and volunteers working with local, regional, and national agencies to conserve cultural and natural resources in the five-county region of eastern Pennsylvania. The corridor includes railroads, canals, rivers and trails. A $2.5 million grant from Carbon County, $600,000 in state funding and nearly $3.3 million in federal funds administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.