BLAZING THE TRAIL SOUTH
Kennebunk to South Berwick
If you would like to contribute to this campaign, use the Donate button below to pay by Credit Card, or via a PayPal Account.
If you prefer to pay by check, please send a check to: Eastern Trail Alliance – P.O. Box 250 – Saco, ME 04072 and please indicate BLAZING THE TRAIL SOUTH on the memo line.
When complete, Blazing the Trail South will add an additional 19 miles resulting in 25 miles of off-road trail connecting 7 communities in the most densely populated region in the state (Greater Portland, Cumberland and York Counties). This will provide a safe and convenient facility for bicycle commuters, recreational riders, walkers, and wheelchair users for transportation, health and enjoyment.
This extension will promote trail-associated economic development in York and Cumberland Counties by providing a safe and scenic transportation and recreation corridor forming connections between towns as a thread to promote regional cooperation in economic and tourism development plans. Based on the 2018 ETA Economic Impact Study data, over 251,000 annual visitors visited 22 miles of the off-road Eastern Trail (ET), contributing nearly $3,000,000 to the local economy.
Funding will be a combination of Federal and State allocations with the required 20% match coming from a combination of municipal, foundations and private sources.To raise this 20% required match, the ETA/ETMD together with the individual municipalities have embarked on a fundraising campaign, similar to the model first used for the successful Close the Gap campaign in Scarborough, reaching out to individuals, corporations and foundations.
Here are some specific status details for the communities involved in the BTTS project:
KENNEBUNK AND WELLS
- The towns of Kennebunk and Wells are in the early stages of planning for their sections of the trail, having set aside the funds needed for that purpose. They provided the matching funds required for the Private Public Partnership program and received funding from Maine DOT to cover 7 of the 11 miles of the route’s existing conditions survey.
- Thanks to donations from Eastern Trail supporters, the survey for the remaining four miles in Wells was completed in October, 2019, preparing this section for design.
- Our request to MaineDOT in October 2019 for design funds was denied due to lack of available funds.
- Based on this decision, the Towns and ETMD are moving forward with a request to MaineDOT for Planning Partnership Initiative Funds for .25 miles in Kennebunk and 1.25 miles in Wells. The match for this study will come from funds already raised by ETA & ETMD and designated for this section.
- As of June 2020, the ETA & ETMD have raised over $250,000 towards funding the survey and design for this section. $70,000 of these funds covered the existing conditions survey, $180,000 remains to assist with planning and design studies.
- ETMD is actively working with North Berwick Town Manager and representatives from Pratt & Whitney, Hussey Seating and Pike Industries on the off-road Eastern Trail route. ETMD identified three alternative routes that would combine on and off-road sections should the totally off-road route not be feasible.
- There is strong industry support and interest in moving forward on these 3 miles. Thanks to donations from Pratt & Whitney and Eastern Trail Alliance supporters, the existing conditions survey for the first .75 miles was completed in October 2019, preparing this section for design.
- North Berwick will join ETMD, Kennebunk and Wells in the request for planning funds mentioned above to take this survey to a deeper level and prepare it for design.
- There is strong support and interest in moving forward on these 5 miles. First step would be moving forward with the town to seek funding for an updated existing conditions survey.