New Trail Development Campaigns
Trail development … BEHIND THE SCENES
We are Blazing the Trail South – Closing the Gaps – headed Over the River and Through the Woods
Closing the Gap Campaign. We know many of you are wondering “Just where is the Close the Gap project? WHEN will that 1.6-mile gap between South Portland and Scarborough be closed? What’s taking so long?
This is a locally administrated project, which means the Town of Scarborough takes the lead working with MaineDOT and contractors to ensure that all mandated rules and regulations are followed correctly – a lengthy and arduous process. While they don’t have that “shovel in the ground” yet, the town has made significant progress this year. Click here for the December 2019 update from the Project Manager, Bill Reichl.
Over the River Campaign. Moving on down the trail, the Cities of Saco and Biddeford are actively seeking alternatives to the current on road route between their two off road trail segments. The preferred route to take the trail Over the River would be to utilize the existing rail corridor and bridge over the Saco – currently owned and operated by Pan Am. The City Managers have reached out to Pan Am requesting a meeting to discuss this option. Once we meet with Pan Am and have their input, we will submit a request to MaineDOT for support to conduct a route feasibility study.
Through the Woods Campaign.There’s been amazing progress on the 18-mile section from Kennebunk through South Berwick. Unitil, the corridor owner, has provided us with a letter of intent for an easement which would grant access for the trail to be located within their right of way. Several local businesses and organizations have sent in letters of support. Many thanks to our two large donors, The Craig Family Trust and the Caiazzo family! Their collective $100,000 contribution helped us launch a fundraising campaign similar to the successful one for Close the Gap. To date, through their support plus donations from the Eastern Trail Annual Appeal, Pratt & Whitney, five foundations, the towns of Wells & Kennebunk, Maine DOT and several individual donors, we have raised over $250,000 towards the design and survey for the 10 miles from Kennebunk through Wells and past Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick. The onsite conditions survey was funded and completed in September. We are now reaching out for the additional funds required to start the design process.
As work continues behind the scenes, we are constantly reminded of the words of wisdom from our founder and mentor, John Andrews: “It takes patience, perseverance and politeness (plus $$$$) to build this trail.”
Thank you for all of yours!
Carole Brush, Executive Director
Eastern Trail Management District