Somerset Rails to Trails Project Almost Underway - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset Rails to Trails Project Almost Underway

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SOMERSET COUNTY, Md. - After a few years of planning and discussion, a rails to trails project in Somerset County is finally just a few weeks away from beginning construction.

The last train left Crisfield in the mid-70's and the railway that runs out of town and parallel to Route 413 has sat unused for decades.  But there is a new project in the works that would repurpose that state owned right-of-way.

"Since that time, that state right-of-way has been there and it has kind of become part of the landscape and trees have taken roots there and all of those things," said Clint Sterling, the Somerset County Parks and Rec Director.  "So, with these type of project,s we want to maximize that piece of property."

The project would turn that railbed into a ten foot wide asphalt trail.  The trail sits about 60 feet from the center of Route 413.  The project will cost about $5 million to complete and is being funded by federal and state grants.  This trail would run from Hinman Lane in Crisfield to Davis Road in Marion, about five miles in total.  

Project organizers said the project began to be advertised to construction companies on Thursday.  The goal is to have a company in place by late-April with a groundbreaking to take place shortly thereafter.  But this five mile trail is just the first phase of a much larger project.

"Eventually, we aim to run the trail from Crisfield all the way to Princess Anne using the abandoned railroad line and the right-of-way there the state has," Sterling told WBOC.  "We think what will happen as a result is that we will have one of the most unique trails in the state."

Sterling said they hope to have phase one of construction complete by 2021 and during construction, the future phases of the project will be planned.

Somerset County also has Trail Mix which allows visitors to access a full list of activities and trails, both land and water trails, that can be visited.  Project organizers believe this new trail along Route 413 would bring a great deal of attention to everything that county has to offer recreationally and encourage more outdoor tourism to Somerset County.

 

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