By Judy Haley
[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]
If you build it, they will come! And so they did … by the thousands in Kittery and Portsmouth on August 8, 2013, to participate in the opening of the new Memorial Bridge! Although the morning was overcast with bad weather threatening, spirits were not dampened! Motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, boaters, kayakers— they all began arriving before 7:00 AM. Flags were raised, banners were flying, and excited chatter was deafening; until, that is, the band started to play and the parade of dignitaries, began to march from the Kittery side of the bridge to Portsmouth, where the ribbon cutting ceremony was to be held!
Oh, what a day it was! Everyone coming together to celebrate the completion of this much heralded and loved gateway! Of the three bridges connecting Kittery and Portsmouth, the Memorial Bridge alone can boast provisions for pedestrians and cyclists!
The Memorial Bridge, besides acting as a major gateway between the two states, also serves as a critical connection for the East Coast Greenway, a trail that runs from the Canadian border at Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. Our own Eastern Trail, which is part of the East Coast Greenway, extends from the Memorial Bridge to South Portland, connecting towns and cities long the way, with both on-road and off-road trail sections.
The Eastern Trail Alliance, has been instrumental in completing approximately 21 miles of improved, off-road trail from South Portland to Kennebunk and is currently working toward completion of the ET, off-road, from Kennebunk to Kittery and to the Memorial Bridge gateway.
For more information on our progress and how you can help, please visit our website: www.easterntrail.org
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