The Mascoma River Greenway has been a complicated project involving the City of Lebanon, the State of N.H., the Claremont Concord Railroad, and the federal government. Step by step we move forward . . . with a few snags:
* City of Lebanon approval of the project
* Official Abandonment and Discontinuation of the railroad tracks from mile marker 140 (eastern side of the bridge over the Mascoma River, near Timken) to Glen Road. Thanks to the offices of Schuster, Buttrey & Wing for their efforts in preparing the 7 pounds of legal documents required!
* The incredible effort of so many volunteers clearing the tracks of brush, ties, and tracks. The “in kind” contributions have been huge!
* The MRG Capital Campaign has reached 90% of its goal thanks to the support of major donors, local businesses, house parties, individuals . . . and Girl Scout Juniors cookie sales! Little more than $200,000 will bring us to our goal.
* City engineers have completed plans for the safety rails on Slayton Hill stone arch bridge and the downtown bridge/platform over the Mascoma River.
* Work has begun on the West Lebanon side, improving the trail from the Powerhouse Mall to Riverside Park.
* The Tunnel: Deterioration and subsequent closure of the tunnel under the Lebanon Mall and Hanover Street has obstructed the joining of the Northern Rail Trail to the MRG. Fortunately the City is conducting a visioning study for the entire downtown Lebanon, including the tunnel, and will be seeking citizen input over the next few months.
* Complications with our fencing company and lead paint on the bridge over I-89 has delayed the plan to put pedestrian/bicycle railing on the bridge.
* The trail west of the I-89 bridge is marshy and will require EPA Wetlands approval. Application for approval has been completed and sent; we anticipate approval.
* The plan for the West Lebanon end of the trail relies on development of Iron Horse Park with a new road connecting Rt 4 to Seminary Hill. That development has been on hold for the past 2 years, and we do not yet know when it will move forward.
As we resolve the snags, weeds and brush are returning to the trail. This week, volunteers mowed and whacked weeds on the path from the Powerhouse Mall to Riverside Community Park in West Lebanon, as well as the path by the downtown Lebanon bridge over the Mascoma River. Thanks to all volunteers!
Frank Gould is looking for a few more volunteer weed-whackers. Might you help?
(Thanks to Larry Kelly for the photo.)