Despite intermittent weather and freezing and refreezing of the ground, the day has come when the last of the rail road ties has been pulled up intact and bundled. The bundles of ties will soon be trucked down to a licensed facility to be burnt as fuel.
Looking north from the Lawrence line, one can see that the trail will be straight and clear. And to the East it has great visibility over the Spicket River and the city of Lawrence.
The next step is to deck the footbridge over the Spicket River and begin paving the rail trail section that runs through the conservation area up to the NH State Line. This will start first thing next week. Compared to the tedious job of pulling and bundling ties, laying down recycled asphalt will be a breeze.
Joe Hattrup from Iron Horse Preservation paid a call on Brad Bruschur from Groundwork Lawrence to give his estimate for continuing IHP’s work along the the M&L Branch inside Lawrence.
Here, the railroad siding splits off from the main line at the Manchester St. Bridge and continues down a grade to join with the end of the Spicket River Greenway at the railroad bridge over the Spicket behind the Polartec Factory Parking lot.
This part of the line hasn’t been used in a very long time and is covered with small trees and trash. Groundwork has started the paperwork process to allow Iron Horse to continue the
‘no cost’ construction job to connect these two projects in a seamless recreational area. The sooner that paperwork goes through the sooner the brush and ties will get cleared and the asphalt can go down.
On the North side of the Methuen Rail Trail project, Salem NH and NH DOT have finalized their paperwork problems allowing them to engage Iron Horse Preservation to continue their non profit construction across the state line and into Salem NH 1.8 miles from the border (Cluff Crossing Rd and Shaws Supermarket) and again further north connecting Salem’s Main St (Rt 97) to Old Depot Rd (MacKinnon’s area) about 1 mile. The undeveloped sections of the Salem Bike Bed Corridor are serviced by sidewalks and pedestrian traffic controls, which will allow easy if not seamless access by the pedestrian or cyclist to all sections of Rt 28 and points north (Windham NH et al.)
Hopefully by years end Iron Horse Preservation will have done great work connecting these three communities along the Spicket River and paralleling Rt 28 allowing for many many people to enjoy biking and walking safely.
Methuen Rail Trail Alliance