Campbell Thomas & Co.

Community & Transportation Planning

The September 11th National Memorial Trail

The Northern Pilgrimage through Pennsylvania

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Photo at ribbon cutting

An alignment study for the National Memorial Trail through 20 counties in Pennsylvania

The September 11 National Memorial Trail is an evolving network of off-road multi-use trails, greenways and scenic roads and byways that link the three National Memorials dedicated to the memory of those who died in the tragic events of September 11, 2001; the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Washington D.C., and the United Airlines Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Conceptually, they form a roughly triangular pilgrimage route that eventually will not only link the national memorials, but will link to cities, towns and communities along the way that are home to local memorials and significant sites that reflect that spirit of American patriotism, resilience and perseverance that brought the nation back from the tragic events of the day and forged a great nation.
As a “pilgrimage trail”, the vision for the September 11th National Memorial Trail is a bit more modern than the historic image of sincere devotees on an arduous journey to a religious shrine. The vision focuses on the nature of and significance of the sites linked with a goal of encouraging and facilitating use by as much of the population as possible so that they may all share in the experience.
CTC and it associates, Laird LA, PLLC and TPW Design Studios, were retained by the Alliance as the trail/greenway planning consultants to assist the Steering Committee in developing the feasibility study for the northerly section of the triangular route, through Pennsylvania. The route starts as the network comes into PA, from the Pentagon Memorial, at the Great Allegheny Passage trailhead in Garrett; will link to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville; then proceed generally east across the state to the vicinity of the Delaware Water Gap where in will link with the trail route through NJ to the World Trade Center Memorial. The CTC consultant team’s tasks included mapping, field review, soliciting public and stakeholder input, developing the analysis, making recommendations and preparing a final report.
The consultant team’s work also included developing the preliminary design for the first section of the trail to be officially opened in Pennsylvania, the link from the Great Allegheny Passage to the Flight 93 Memorial. The goal is to have this section open by September 11th 2016, the 15th anniversary of the tragic event and the year of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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