Bedford and Fulton Counties are located in South Central, PA along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Lincoln Highway, Interstate 99 and Interstate 70. The vision for the Pike2Bike trail project is to develop an 8.5-mile section of the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike located in both Fulton and Bedford Counties into a destination multi-purpose trail. This section of the former Turnpike features two tunnels, the Rays Hill Tunnel and the Sideling Hill Tunnel. A portion of the former highway also shares the right-of-way with an abandoned railway, potentially classifying the Pike2Bike project as an official “rail-to-trail.”
In the summer of 2013, Bedford and Fulton County Commissioners launched a planning process to update the Pike2Bike Trail Network Master Plan and Adaptive Re-Use Study (2006). In order to build public and private support to fund the development and operations of the trail, Bedford and Fulton Counties commissioned the impact analysis to estimate the benefits that the development of the Pike2Bike trail could generate for residents, businesses and local governments.
Fourth Economy Consulting conducted an economic impact study to project the potential benefits to the community and regional economy if the trail was formally developed. The process included a series of site visits, public outreach meetings, survey distribution, and analysis. An extensive literature review was also conducted to gain a comparative understanding of other trail impact experiences, amenities, and visitor levels. IMPLAN software was used to model the overall economic impact estimates. Construction estimates were derived from a combination of sources including the previous master planning report, an onsite engineering inspection and tunnel repair estimate, and additional independent web research.
In 2013, our team completed the Economic Impact Analysis of the Proposed Pike2Bike Trail. This Analysis was formally adopted by the Fulton and Bedford County Boards of Commissioners in May of 2014. Additional studies have been ongoing to identify options for trail development and improvement, and the cost estimates for construction, operation and maintenance. A "Friends of the Pike2Bike" association is being assembled to help fund, build, maintain and promote the trail. In 2018, Bedford and Fulton counties began the process of creating a new authority, the Bedford-Fulton Joint Recreation Authority, to assume ownership from the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy and oversee the development and operations of the trail. The Authority renamed the project to “The Old Pennsylvania Turnpike.” In 2019, the authority was awarded $1 million from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Additional requests are in process to complete the fundraising for the project.
Economic Impact Analysis