Lamoille Valley Rail Trail gets permitOctober 28,2012
Construction is ready to begin on a 44-mile section of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail across northern Vermont now that the project's received the final permit needed to begin construction, officials said.
The project received $5.2 million in federal funding in 2005, but it had been on hold during an environmental review process.
“This is exciting news,” said Vermont's independent U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders. “The trail across some of the most beautiful terrain in Vermont will be a fantastic recreational asset while strengthening Vermont's economy.”
Construction on phase 1 of the project will include work on stretches of trail from St. Johnsbury to Danville, a leg linking Morristown, Hyde Park, Johnson and Cambridge, and a section from Sheldon to Swanton.
Eventually the project will run 93 miles from Swanton to St. Johnsbury.
Sanders said construction on the trail will create badly-needed jobs in northern Vermont.
“Once built, the trail will be a huge attraction for tourists who come to Vermont in the winter to snowmobile or ski, or in the summer to bike and hike,” he said. “These tourists will stay in our hotels and inns, eat in local restaurants, visit other Vermont attractions and buy Vermont products.”
The railway served as a vital east-west transportation corridor from 1877 until it closed in 1994.
In 2003 the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers won state approval to convert the railway into a four-season recreational trail.
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