Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail, Township of Derry Board of Supervisors, Hershey, PA

Trail acting as alternative transportation facility system

BH assisted the Township of Derry in developing a bike/pedestrian trail system to extend the existing four-mile trail to a 22-mile system. The bike/pedestrian trail connects all of the Township’s recreation parks by means of a 10-foot wide paved path within a 15-foot trail easement, trail right-of-way, or a bike route designated to use existing roadways. In addition to providing a recreation and fitness facility, the trail provides an alternative transportation facility, as direct connections to all Township parks, educational campuses, and major employment centers such as the Hershey Medical Center and Hershey Foods have been established. Total buildout of the entire 22 miles ultimately connects neighboring communities and the regional Swatara Creek Greenway trail.

Grants were awarded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Transportation Enhancements Program (TEA-21) for the design and construction of Phase I. This trail was the first in Pennsylvania to conform fully to PennDOT’s Publication No. 408. All portions of the trail have been designed to the requirements of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s (AASHTO) “Guide for the Development of New Bicycle Facilities” and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Services included survey, trail design and layout, unit cost estimates, participation in meetings with the Township, PennDOT’s liaison, utility companies, Derry Township Municipal Authority, NEPA environmental clearances, and utility clearance. Final documents included a PS&E package, PennDOT quantity tabulations and summary, Special Provisions for construction items that did not conform to PennDOT Form 408 standard specifications, and construction administration/construction inspection.

BH completed construction document for several phases of this Trail, all which conformed to PennDOT publication 408 and the appropriate design manuals. Interpretive signs provide historic information about the railroad that once ran on the portion of the trail that uses the abandoned railroad bed. A small plaza is proposed for the terminus of the existing trail, where it ends at a busy intersection. The plaza includes benches for resting or waiting, landscaping, and flags and other graphic forms that identify the trail to road travelers and to help identify the bike route and provide a safer crossing.