The Mascoma River Greenway

new york bike path, pavedThe Mascoma River Greenway (MRG) will be a 4 mile multi-use pathway starting from the Northern Rail Trail at Spencer Street in downtown Lebanon to Westboro Rail Yard in West Lebanon, extending the Northern Rail Trail from its beginning in southern NH to the Vermont border. The MRG will be the core transportation corridor for bikes and pedestrians through the heart of Lebanon and West Lebanon, connecting Lebanon’s neighborhoods with workplaces, schools, open spaces, shopping areas, a medical center and transit stops.

Thanks to all who have donated their hard labor!

The Upper Valley is a generous community when it comes to volunteering: as of today, 155 different people have donated their labor.  They have cut brush, felled saplings, whacked weeds, pulled spikes, pried rails, and hefted ties. They have  repaired and expanded a bridge, created paths, and built a kiosk  . .  . that’s a  lot of sweat equity!  Thanks to all who have worked so hard toward making the Mascoma River Greenway dream a reality.

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Vote for MRG!

 

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Dan Fraser of Dan & Whit’s in Norwich Vt is running an election; customers are encouraged to vote with their dollars . . .  for local non-profits. It’s Dan’s way of knowing customer preferences and planning D&W’s future fund-raising activities: “Imagine if politicians spent all their hundreds, thousands and millions of campaign dollars on something that would help people, solve some issues and improve the quality of life for others. Would you vote and support that?” writes Dan. “Votes are $1.00 each. Cash is fine, or if you want to vote “big” and really tell us who you love – write a check made out to the organization.” So, next time you’re at Dan & Whit’s, vote for Mascoma River Greenway!  (Right now, Mascoma River Greenway is the top vote getter!)

 

One of the exciting aspects of the Mascoma River Greenway is that it will open up aspects of the Mascoma River that have long been hidden from view.  We have this wonderful resource running through our city, but it is little seen and under-appreciated.  Many folks are eager to bike, hike, run, or ski on the MRG,  others will enjoy a little meander that brings them to a scenic spot on the river. On this frosty January day, one can dream about a summer day and a perfect picnic spot along the river . . . for example, take a satellite view of the small waterfall hiding behind the Miracle Mile . . . wouldn’t that be a great destination for a picnic? https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6363177,-72.2936385,300m/data=!3m1!1e3   (see the white water at the top,  left of center . . . and then take a virtual tour along the river  . . .  it’s not easy to see where the trail is;  you can click on the map above to orient yourself.

 

Moving Forward!

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*Thanks to the generously donated efforts of Ashley Romeo-Boles at the law firm of Schuster, Buttrey and Wing, the railroad and State DOT have joined the City in filing for official Abandonment and Discontinuation of the remaining section of the Greenway.  The 7 pound document has been sent to Washington; when approved by the Federal Government, we will have permission to move forward with the remaining construction.

*Construction of rails on the Slayton Hill Bridge is scheduled for July with a plan to improve access from the trail to the APD parking lot. City Engineering staff will help complete work on the bridge in downtown Lebanon near A.B.Gile.

*The Jane McLaughlin Foundation offered the MRG a matching grant.  If we could raise $50,000 from individual donors, the foundation would donate $200,000, a 4 to 1 match.  We are within $2,300 of meeting the $50,000 match. If you have intended to make a donation to the Mascoma River Greenway, now is the time – you could help secure that match.

The Upper Valley Trails Alliance is the fiscal agent for the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition. To make a tax-deductible donation send checks, made out to UVTA with Mascoma River Greenway in the memo line to:

Upper Valley Trails Alliance
PO Box 1215
Norwich, VT 05055

or make an online donation via our secure website, click here.

Thanks to all who have already donated in so many ways!

Dutille’s Display

DSCN8906Thanks to Dutille’s in downtown Lebanon for their display in support of the Mascoma River Greenway!

What’s happening with the MRG . . . and why can’t I use the trail yet?

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What’s happening with the Mascoma River Greenway . . . and why can’t I use the trail yet?!

The MRG is an ambitious project involving negotiation with the City of Lebanon, NH Dept of Transportation (NHDOT), the Claremont Concord Railroad (CCRR), and the federal government.

Currently, the City of Lebanon has rights up to Mile Marker 140, which is at the eastern side of the bridge over the Mascoma River, near Timken. Through the efforts of countless volunteers, the trail has been cleared of trees, brush, ties, and tracks to Mile Marker 140, with tracks and ties moved to the side awaiting removal.

* The NHDOT has recently signed off on the paperwork relative to the abandonment of the final section of the rail corridor to Route 4 at the Miracle Mile. The railroad still has to sign-off, and has seemed reluctant to do so. The NHDOT has agreed to be the contact with the CCRR. With CCRR approval, the paperwork will be sent to Washington for federal approval.

* The tunnel under the mall in Lebanon, part of the planned MRG route, is deteriorating from water and salt damage and has been closed for safety reasons. We hope the MRG will be able to use a reconstructed tunnel for connecting east and west, but if not, we are looking at alternatives. (MRG funding will not be used to reconstruct the tunnel.)

* Once the Greenway has reached RT 4 on the Miracle Mile, it will connect with a ped/bike path included in the design of the Iron Horse Park, the site of the former Twin State Sand and Gravel Company. This path would connect the MRG from Glen Road to Elm Street West, and then on into downtown West Lebanon.

In the meantime, the MRG is open for exploration from the intersection of Mechanic, Mascoma, and High Street to the Slayon Hill Bridge. Guard rails are planned for that bridge this Fall.

There are still tons of ties to be moved to the landfill. We will be scheduling workdays to remove them. Might you have a one-ton dump truck for us to use? DPW vehicles are in use during the week. Let Frank Gould go2teach@comcast.net know if you can donate use of a dump truck!

Next Step: Guard Rails on I-89 Bridge

I-89 Bridge

A bid has been accepted for installing higher guard rails along the Interstate 89 Bridge. The work is expected to be accomplished this fall.