By Jamie Martinez (photo credit Shane Dunlap)
These days, Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County's parks and recreation director, spends more time working on trails than he does biking or running on them.
But by the way he talks about the Westmoreland Heritage Trail project, it seems like he's OK with that.
"By 2019, the plan is to have 18 miles of the 22-mile trail complete. After that, the parks department will tackle the remaining 4-mile section between Export and Delmont. Someday, Sias hopes the Westmoreland Heritage Trail will be linked with Great Allegheny Passage access points near Trafford."
“It's just exciting to put this stuff in people's neighborhoods, where they can enjoy it,” said Sias, who is no stranger to trail construction. He has been involved in trails since 1989, when he started working on local sections of the Great Allegheny Passage.
At that point, he wasn't sure if the passage would be completed. But such projects take time, he said, as land is acquired, plans are drawn up and communities are engaged. Piece by piece, the puzzle comes together. The Great Allegheny Passage now connects Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., and Sias is applying the same patience to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail project.