Before the snows came this winter, we began work to open the MRG rail corridor into downtown Lebanon. The corridor crosses the Mascoma River near the intersection at High, Mascoma, and Mechanic Streets and passes through a tunnel under Hanover St/Rt 120, emerging in the lower parking area near Village Pizza.
Volunteers braved the cold to tear out the brush and vines along the tracks; Lebanon DPW then used their heavy equipment to remove tracks and ties. This gave walkers easier access to the bridge and the tunnel.
It was a spooky walk. There were no guardrails on the bridge and the tunnel was unlit. The next step was to make the bridge safe for walkers. Lebanon Parks and Recreation jumped to the task; Paul Coats and Rick Desharnais spent a couple of days anchoring posts for a handrail. Then, on a much colder day, volunteers, some the same and some different, attached the railing. It took several days for completion.
As for the tunnel, it is still unlit and spooky. We are getting estimates for lighting. Ultimately, it is hoped, we can transform the tunnel into a venue for artwork, making it a place our citizens and tourists will be drawn to visit.
An added benefit of this part of the project is that it provides safer bridge access to the pocket park designed and constructed by Eagle Scout Jake Jasinski. (The park is located behind Goss Logan.)
Thanks to all the wonderful people who have helped this project to date. Volunteers for grunt work include Nichole Cormen, Dick Mackay, Dick Corr, Alex Langsner, Doug McGrath, David Keno, Betsy Drinkwater, Radley Harold, Ken Warren, Gail Wasson, Paul Coats and Rick Desharnais from Parks and Rec, and myself, Frank Gould. If I’ve left anyone out I apologize. Thanks also to Lebanon DPW for their time and LaValley’s Building Supply for working with us to supply the materials for the guardrail.
Once the snow is gone, construction will continue with a second guardrail on the upriver side of the bridge and decking for the trestle section with open ties. The next step will be the stone bridge near Slayton Hill and Alice Peck Day Hospital where more brush will be removed and guardrails installed. Anyone who wants to be notified to help with these projects can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. and I will add your name to our list.