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Boat Fairy or Over Dam Travel

April 25, 2009

As the Upper Valley Trails Alliance explores options for improved trail connectivity we hear a wide variety of access considerations associated with the Connecticut River. Should the Wilder Dam be open for bike and ped traffic? Should there be a three season boat ferry? Is there a narrow enough section of river to install a cost effective bike/ped bridge over the Connecticut?

A few years ago UVTA received permission from the operators of the Wilder Dam to allow a tour of the power generation station and provide access across the dam as part of the 2007 Trails Day celebrations at Boston Lot Lake (Lebanon, NH)and Kilowatt Field (Hartford, VT).  Since 9/11 created more security concerns than tax laws, the number of dam crossing participants that day were  limited in number and specific rules needed to be followed but it was a  good example of how the Wilder Dam could accomodate people traffic.

I really wonder how security risk could be managed to provide the Wilder Dam as a more regular travel route. Imagine how short a journey it would be to walk or ride your bike from Wilder to DHMC!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. dan mayka jr permalink
    July 3, 2009 7:32 pm

    How about a trail with rail over existing rail bridge to white river?

    I think this is done in parts of our country.


  2. uvtrails permalink*
    July 7, 2009 1:31 pm

    A Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail feasibility study was completed for the Trails Alliance in 2007 regarding the railroad bridge between West Lebanon, NH and Hartford, VT. Lots of possible trail alignments.
    Both the Vermont and NH transportation departments would need to approve of the project – always loads of liability discussions about this subject but as Dan mentioned, there are lots of good examples of successful shared rail with trail projects throughout the U.S. Costs for fencing and trail location (both on and once off the bridge) would need to be overcome.

    Another improvement in that general area is ongoing: A new bridge at Route 4 is being constructed over the course of the next few years. It will have seperate bike lanes and sidewalks.
    (Note: 13 mb file)

    Tieing all these projects together is the Upper Valley Loop Trail Project (linking Lebanon, Hanover, Hartford and Norwich with trails throughout the valley) and the Mascoma Greenway Project from Lebanon to the historic Westboro Rail Yard (next to the rail bridge to VT that Dan refers to)that will also link to the Loop Trail.

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