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Manchester officials invite public comments on rail trail project at Wednesday meeting

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

February 19. 2018 9:04PM




MANCHESTER — A “listening session” of sorts will be held this week to solicit input from the community on work associated with a rail trail project.

Rail enthusiasts and members of the general public are invited to attend a Local Concerns Meeting to discuss the Rockingham Rail Trail Extension Project this Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Department of Public Works building at 475 Valley St. in Manchester. Representatives from CMA Engineers, the city’s consultant on the project, will give a presentation on the proposed expansion.

In Fall 2016, Manchester was awarded $799,998 through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant to be used for the planned expansion of the Rockingham Recreational Trail.

The grant was part of a total $6.9 million in funding from the NH Department of Transportation’s 2016 TAP projects, awarded to 11 Granite State cities and towns, as well as the University of New Hampshire, which applied for the funds. The Manchester project will improve the Rockingham Recreational Trail from Candia Road — just north of the CVS pharmacy on Mammoth Road — to Lake Shore Road.

The project will include the connection of side roads to the new trail, and trail/roadway intersection improvements. Construction could begin as soon as Fiscal Year 2019.

In his 2018 budget proposal, former Mayor Ted Gatsas included funding for the Rockingham Rail Trail and Downtown Rail Trail projects.

City officials say Wednesday’s meeting has been organized as a chance to collect input from the public, municipal officials, resource agencies, and abutting property owners on ideas and concerns relative to the existing bike and pedestrian conditions along the project route, as part of a “data collection phase.” Proposed design alternatives that may be drawn up as a result of these concerns will be presented at a later date.


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