After talking about it for years, progress is finally being made on the first 1.4 miles of a trail that will eventually become 1,300 miles long.By Lindsay Ward

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — The Great Allegheny Passage will soon be connected to the 9/11 trail.

It’s part of a massive project that will span multiple states and connect Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to New York City, to the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

For those behind the project, the path hasn’t been an easy one and it’s taken six years to finally break ground in Garrett, Somerset County.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Acquiring the location of the trail has been a challenge.

“Landowners, townships, boroughs,” said Lindsay Pyle, the director of Parks and Trails in Somerset County.

And so has the many land issues.

“Wetland mitigation, a lot of engineering and design work done for this,” said Pyle.

It’s been setback after setback to make this connection happen. But after talking about it for years, progress is finally being made on the first 1.4 miles of a trail that will eventually become 1,300 miles long.

“We were trying to do as much as possible to bring attention to it, bring excitement to it,” said Pyle. “We’re hoping within the next five years to be in Shanksville.”

Pyle explains how the trail will look and what’s being worked on, including using rail beds.

“That’s important for these trails, because that means it’s established,” she said.

Pyle says the project dips into multiple states and it will be up to them to decide on how quickly to move things along in their area. In all, the project will take many years to complete and will cost tens of millions of dollars.

But it’s one that will become another teaching tool on a part of our history that should always be told.

“I know there are so many people that don’t know much about it. But to me, it’s something we’re able to keep alive in our community for people to remember,” said Pyle.

The part of the trail in Garrett is expected to be done next spring and will cost close to $1 million.

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