Montpelier bike path has a long way to goMay 14,2013
By Gayle Hanson
MONTPELIER — It will be a couple of years and several hundred thousand additional dollars before the widely anticipated next leg of Montpelier’s bike path is completed. That’s the upshot of a meeting Tuesday morning involving city, state and construction officials involved with the project.
In April, after years of planning, Berlin abruptly removed itself from the joint project between the two communities after railroad tracks went back into service along the stretch of railbed where the path would have traveled through Berlin.
Now, as the city prepares to move forward on its part of the project, it must finish the path realignment, reapply for permits that have expired and obtain right-of-way permissions from landowners whose properties the path would cross.
At its last meeting, the City Council approved a consent agenda increasing the maximum cost for the next leg of the path to $983,854 — that’s $384,735 more since the project was first planned and budgeted for a decade ago. Approximately 90 percent of the cost of the path is covered by state and federal funding, which in turn dictates somewhat the speed at which the project can move forward. And there is money in the bike path budget to help defray the additional costs.
“We’ve surveyed the whole thing,” said Evan Detrick of DuBois & King, the engineering consulting firm that’s overseeing the project. “In the meantime, we’ve started to prepare the new plans. We’re looking to have a pre-plan ready for use in June.
Because we’re using federal money we want to make sure that everything is handled correctly.”
This next leg of the path will run from Hunger Mountain Coop toward the roundabout on Route 2. The completed leg runs from Taylor Street in the city past the Peace Park and toward Montpelier Junction. The third part of the path, which will tie the two
Montpelier sections together, is to cross the Carr Lot and be constructed as part of the city’s planned transportation hub.
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