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To Bridge or Not to Bridge

February 17, 2010

Upcoming construction plans may change the character, continuity and enjoyment of the Northern Rail Trail.  As part of a larger project that includes a new Shaker Bridge over Mascoma Lake, Enfield selectmen recently asked the NHDOT to reverse the plan for a trail bridge replacement over Main Street with an at-grade road crossing. Trail users would no longer be able to continue through this area uninterrupted by car traffic.

Please consider writing NH DOT’s Assistant Commissioner, Jeff Brillhart,  and the Enfield Selectboard, requesting that this important regional trail resource should not be impacted through the removal of the existing overpass. Please select your choice of printable mailer (Word,  PDF) Sign it – Fold in thirds – Stick on a stamp – Mail it.

Site location of current trail bridge

The Northern Rail Trail is a wonderful regional trail resource where children learn to ride their bicycles, families head out for a hike or day long tour, athletes complete daily training runs, and commuters travel with muscle power to work and school. A big part of the draw to this trail is it’s near level grade making travel quite easy, the surrounding scenery accessed by the trail adds to our quality of life in the valley, and long lengths of continous trail sections without road crossings make  for a safe travel way.

Generally speaking, the use of  bridges, tunnels or passable culverts to seperate automobile and trail uses and create safe passage,  is an important part of any trail design.

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