4.8 miles and counting

JULIE HUSS/Staff photoSupporters, town and state officials and members of Londonderry Trailways gather in North Londonderry to cut the ribbon on the newest portion of the town's paved trail system.

LONDONDERRY — Happy trails continue in Londonderry.

Londonderry Trailways joined with local and state officials, and supporters to cut the ribbon Nov. 22 on the newest paved section of the community rail trail network.

The segment in North Londonderry off Mammoth Road is approximately 1 mile in length and is the Phase 5 Little Cohas portion of the trail system.

Trailways president Bob Rimol said this trail section is a scenic one and he invited everyone to walk the trail or ride a bike after the ceremony.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Rimol noted a long list of supporters for the town's trails, including volunteers, corporate sponsorship, the town's Conservation Commission and the state Department of Transportation.

He credited the state for helping Trailways navigate all trail phases to this point, and also thanked the Town Council and other town departments for always being on board to support the trails.

And volunteers deserved a big round of thanks, Rimol said, adding when Phase 5 began, it was a rough patch of overgrown, old rail bed.

"When we came here, we couldn't even look down 50 feet," he said.

About 3,500 old railroad ties were pulled from this section alone along with old tires, and other remnants of trash and tossed materials.

Rimol said Londonderry's first paved mile of trail system was in 2013, and now with Phase 5 complete, the total amount of trail pavement is 4.8 miles.

The next phase has already gotten support at the ballot box, with 77 percent of Londonderry voters approving a warrant article this past March to help the trail system move forward.

Londonderry's trail system was also one of nine statewide chosen for money from the Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP. A total of $5.7 million was slated to be awarded to Granite State communities for projects including sidewalks, multi-use paths and rail trails.

Londonderry will use TAP funding to build a one-mile, multi-use path along the sides of Harvey, Webster and Grenier Field roads — Phase 6, that will extend the trail up near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Sandra Lagueux, Trailways vice president, also added thanks to the corporate sponsorships, saying several are multi-year, multi-phase contributors.

"As you can see, it's a lot of things that have to happen to come together," she said.

Victoria Sheehan, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, said the partnership between the state and Londonderry has been positive and the community deserves a "round of applause" for its leadership and success when it comes to the trail system.

"Londonderry is a shining star," Sheehan said. "This is a true public/private partnership. This is something you should be proud of."

Shaheen went on to say she speaks to community leaders about their own trail system plans, but always points out Londonderry as a prime example of how to lead and make things happen.

"Your community is leading the way, making these projects a reality," she said.

Rimol said it's been a great community effort, joining all facets of the town, from residents, volunteers, town officials and state legislators, along with business partnership, state DOT support and many more that contributed.

"And two more phases to go," Rimol said. "We are making strides and moving forward bit by bit."

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