Click to read recent Post-Gazette article about construction progress.
Construction & Closures
The The Greer tunnel along with the trail section from there to the Linwood trailhead was out of service for about 3 1/2 months to install a permanent tunnel-ceiling liner. This was part two of a three-phase program. From July 17, the Chartiers Creek end of the tunnel and the Linwood trailhead parking area (MM 28.4 to 29) were closed off by fencing as a safety precaution. The area re-opened when work was completed in late fall.
Phase three will occur in early spring 2024, when a crew will stabilize the tunnel’s western portal.
The heavily used Greer tunnel in Peters Township is located in one of the most scenic parts of the Montour Trail. Its ceiling has been slowly deteriorating. Once it became dangerous to users, volunteers erected a temporary scaffold-and-plywood shield to safeguard visitors from debris detaching from the ceiling. In 2022, MTC applied for and received ~ $240,000 in grant funds to install a permanent ceiling liner — half of the total cost, with a commitment from MTC to contribute another ~$250,000.
In spring 2023, volunteers and contractors discovered that the tunnel’s façade had become unstable, creating an unsafe situation for users. MTC closed the Greer tunnel immediately. Emergency repairs and security equipment will cost another ~$100,000.
As a result, MTC’s budget shortfall on this project is $350,000.
The immediate action plan — the emergency repair — secured the destabilized tunnel portal facade. Engineers drilled into bedrock from the side and top of the portal, inserted threaded steel rods that fastened to steel plates, and then grouted the holes.
The second (and original) repair dealt with fixing the tunnel’s ceiling. A steel lining system was installed at the eastern portal, extending approximately 100 feet into the tunnel. The lining will stabilize the existing concrete structure. The repair will improve trail user safety as well as provide a tunnel liner that will serve for the next 50 years.
The Montour Trail Council has tried its best to minimize disruptions during construction. However, the tunnel must be closed during ceiling and portal repairs.