Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA)
Eastern Trail Management District (ETMD)
OVER THE RIVER: SACO TO BIDDEFORD CONNECTION
(click on thumbnail images above to view a larger version)
- This project will add 3.1 miles to the Eastern Trail and connect the existing 16 miles of trail to the north with 6 miles of trail south of Biddeford, meaning that 7 communities will be linked for off-road, human-powered travel, access to nature, and fun!
- The Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA) and the Eastern Trail Management District (ETMD) are teaming up to promote trail-associated economic development in Cumberland and York Counties. Why? Among other reasons, based on the 2018 ETA Economic Impact Study data, over 251,000 annual visitors visited 22 miles of the off-road ET generating approximately $3,000,000 for soft and hard goods plus equipment rentals. Trails are good for Maine and Mainers!
- We have letters of support from several local businesses and from one of the property owners, a natural gas utility. We are working to secure an easement from the railroad who owns the majority of this stretch. The Cities of Saco and Biddeford, the surrounding communities and industries are working together with the Eastern Trail Alliance and Management District to plan the next steps.
- The Cities and ETMD are moving forward with a request to MaineDOT for a grant to cover the cost of a Route Feasibility & Alignment Study. As of June 2020, ETA & ETMD have raised $27,500 toward the local share of the cost.
- Why hasn’t this segment of trail been completed already? One big reason: the Saco River. The study will help determine whether the trail can utilize an existing rail bridge, which would reduce costs significantly.
- We anticipate that funding will be a combination of Federal and State allocations with the required 20% match coming from a combination of municipalities, foundations and private sources. Costs per mile for the 10 to 12-foot-wide ADA accessible, federal and state-compliant trail are likely to average of $1,000,000 or more per mile.
- You can help! The ETA/ETMD together with Biddeford and Saco have embarked on a fundraising campaign reaching out to members, individuals, corporations, legislators and foundations. Visit easterntrail.org for more info.
You can help! The ETA/ETMD together with Biddeford and Saco have embarked on a fundraising campaign reaching out to members, individuals, corporations, legislators and foundations.