East Brady tunnel rehab effort moves ahead

The Brady Tunnel in East Brady has been around for more than 100 years since it opened in May 1916. (Submitted photo)

Clarion County commissioners approved two resolutions Tuesday that will aid in the rehabilitation of the East Brady tunnel.

The first resolution was to apply for a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant for $500,000. The grant is a 50-50 match that has already been secured.

The second resolution is for a Department of Community and Economic Development Greenways, Trails and Recreation program grant for $250,000. It is an 85-15 match and the match has already been secured.

Chris Ziegler of the Allegheny Valley Land Trust said the work will include rehabilitation of the northern portal of the tunnel and construction of about three miles of trail from the northern portal to mile post 75.23; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Although the tunnel is well above the flood plain, there is still plenty of water in the tunnel. A 20-foot hole has developed in the ceiling that threatens the stability of the tunnel.

“Right now you could kayak in the tunnel,” said Ziegler.

Last year the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded a $663,400 grant to the Allegheny Valley Land Trust for work on the tunnel project.

That grant is a 50-50 match but funds from a PennVEST grant can be used as the match. The total funding available is $1,326,900.

The grants will be used for design for the rehabilitation of the tunnel and will include drawings, specifications and related documents.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the tunnel rehabilitation project is scheduled May 10.