Photo by Chris Ziegler

Work began in early May 2020 on Phase II of the Brady Tunnel renovation project that has been spearheaded by Armstrong Trails (formerly Allegheny Valley Land Trust). Set to enable a link between communities at a disjointed 4.5-mile northern section of the Armstrong Trail, and the southern 31-mile portion connecting East Brady and Ford City, the Brady Tunnel Project will help support increased connectivity and region-wide outdoor tourism along the larger 270-mile Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, the 330-mile PA Wilds Loop, and the Industrial Heartlands Trail.

“Armstrong Trails-Brady Tunnel Project will connect people to places and create opportunities for economic growth while preserving its historical significance and integrity,” stated Chris Ziegler, Executive Director of Armstrong Trails.

Funding for Phase II of this project has been provided by the Department of Natural Resources, which awarded Armstrong Trails with a $500,000 grant to address the need for 75-feet of additional steel liner in the northern portal of the tunnel and 2-miles of trail. Additional funding for Phase II was provided by DQE Communications, who donated $10,000 towards the sluice reconstruction within the tunnel. Earlier this year, Armstrong Trails also received $35,000 from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) 2020 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund to aid in the Brady Tunnel renovation project. While Phase II (expected to be completed in July 2020) does not complete the entire renovation of the tunnel, it does address water issues so that further work can take place as funding is available.