Part of Catonsville trail to close for repairs

A portion of a popular Catonsville hiker-biker trail is expected to close May 1 for several months of repairs.

The segment is a 600-foot wooden walkway on the Number Nine Trolley Trail at the western end of the pathway, near Westchester Avenue.

The repair work is necessary because part of the trail was washed out during a flood last July that caused considerable damage in nearby Ellicott City, according to Ellen Kobler, a Baltimore County spokeswoman.

As damage was being investigated, it was discovered that a manhole was causing issues to the walkway, Kobler said. County crews started repair work at the manhole April 10.

The estimated completion date for the repairs on the walkway is Aug. 11, Kobler said.

Efforts to build the trail, on a former trolley line between Catonsville and Ellicott City, started in 1991, according to Catonsville Rails to Trails, a nonprofit that promotes trails.

Charlie Murphy, a board member, said the trail is heavily used by commuters and the community.

The work was initially expected to occur over the course of one month last winter, but when the manhole repair was necessary, it delayed and lengthened the process, he said.

The timing of the project is not ideal, as a result, he said.

"It's going to be problematic, but we understand the need to repair it," he said.

Losing access to the trail will impact people's health and wellness plans, said Scott Westcoat, owner of the C'Ville Bikes bicycle shop in Catonsville.

He said he was surprised the work would take place during the spring and summer months

"Everyone's going to have to deal with it," he said. "They'll have to figure out a way to alter their existing plans."

A cost estimate was not immediately available.

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