By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — Paving continues on portions of the town’s trail system.
Work to pave a one-mile section of trail near Exit 5 off Interstate 93 was scheduled to be completed by week’s end, weather permitting.
This is the section of trail leading from North Elementary School up to Symmes Drive near the Coca-Cola facility.
In March, voters approved spending $227,000 toward the project. The work couldn’t begin until the new fiscal year began July 1.
Right now, Londonderry Trailways supporters say the paving work is on time and on budget.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Trailways member Bob Rimol said. “They should finish the paving this week.”
Staying very close to the $227,000 budget that the town supported was an added benefit.
“That’s pretty amazing,” Rimol said. “We came in on budget and on time. We really nailed it.”
It’s the first section of town trail to be paved. Plans are in the works to pave another section of trail near Liberty Drive.
“That’s our goal for Phase II, to get that stretch paved,” Rimol said.
That work could get started anytime from later this year to early spring 2014.
It will require fundraising efforts from private donors, businesses and grant sources.
The Phase II work may get a boost from the Exit 5 reconstruction work already underway, Rimol said.
Trailways received a $100,000 matching Land and Water Conservation grant earlier this year from the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, Parks and Recreation Division.
That money will go to support the Rail Trail Peat Bog section.
It’s all good news for Londonderry trail supporters.
The town’s trail system is being built on the abandoned Manchester-Lawrence railway corridor. Upon completion, it will be a 6.4-mile, multi-use, all-season trail for walking, biking, skiing and other activities.
“The trail system we are creating will be useful for senior citizens, kids, everyone,” Rimol said. “It will give them a safe place to walk, run, ride or rollerblade.”
Rimol said people are so excited about the trails they are already using locations where paving work is still being finished up. They just can’t seem to stay away, he said.
“People are so excited when they see it,” he said.
Eventually, Londonderry’s trails will become part of the 150-mile Granite State Rail Trail that runs from Lebanon near the Vermont border to Salem at the Massachusetts border.
Anyone wishing to donate to Trailways can do so online at londonderrytrailways.org.