After years of stasis on making land in the Westboro Rail Yard publicly available, state and city officials last week met to talk over a potential sale of 6.7 acres of state-owned land along the Connecticut that could, at some point, become a park and provide a link through West Leb to the Mascoma River Greenway and Northern Rail Trail. They reached a tentative agreement, reports Patrick Adrian in the Valley News: The city will buy the land for an undetermined price, the state will remove existing contaminants. There is a long list of official sign-offs to come.
The City of Lebanon has completed paving from Spencer Street to Bank St Extension including a safety-forward pedestrian crossing beacon. This crosswalk connects the MRG /tunnel and new multiuse path to the Northern Rail Trail all the way to Boscawen, NH.
Thanks to the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail for this image!
The MRG tunnel has been paved and is looking good! A Grand Opening Celebration is being planned for July 8, 2021, but there will be access to the tunnel before that date. Stay tuned! We are well on our way to linking to the Northern Rail Trail and parts South.
Looking eastward under Hanover Street bridge toward the downtown Mall
Though it will be many months before the work is completed, it’s encouraging to see progress toward connecting the Mascoma River Greenway to the Northern Rail Trail via the tunnel. The Mall parking area, that once formed the roof of the tunnel, has been removed. (See the plan for how it will eventually look.) There is a plan for major work to be done on the Hanover Street bridge next summer, which is likely to delay tunnel use, but step by step we are moving forward.
The folks in Lebanon Recreation & Parks wear many hats, and today, some were wearing their bench-installation hats. Thanks to Doug McGrath and Krissy Flythe, we now have a bench installed on the western end of the MRG, near the umbrella sculpture, and almost ready for use. Rest and enjoy the beautiful view of the river!
Thanks to APD and the Upper Valley Trails Association, we now have a wheelchair- accessible path from the APD/MRG parking lot, opposite the Alice Peck Day Homestead, down to the Mascoma River Greenway. The surface is hard-packed and will eventually be paved. Thanks to all who made it happen!