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Railroad ties along the proposed bike path next to Route 28 will soon be taken to a wood-chipping facility. (ADAM SWIFT

Stack of railroad ties finally headed out of Salem

SALEM — For the past several months, it has been one of the parting shots at many selectmen’s meetings.

As a huge stacks of railroad ties site along Route 28, one selectmen, usually Stephen Campbell, asks when the railroad ties will be removed from the area.

It looks like the issue should soon be moot, however, as Selectman Pat Hargreaves said the railroad ties should be removed and transported to a wood-chipping facility by the time the board meets again on Monday, Nov. 18.

Since late summer, the Iron Horse Preservation Society, a railway preservation group based in Nashua, has been working to remove the 19th-century railroad ties to help clear the way for a paved bicycle and pedestrian path.

Campbell has been critical of the unattractive pile of railroad ties along the path.

The 5.1-mile rail trail has been in the works for over a decade and is expected to be completed by next fall.

When it is finished, it will be part of a 115-mile Granite State Rail Trail that will extend from northern Massachusetts to close to the Vermont state line.

The Friends of the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor are raising nearly $170,000 for the path. The money will help it qualify for federal grants.

Hargreaves said he has spoken to David Topham, co-chair of the group, about the railroad tie issue. Hargreaves said there was an issue with finding a facility where the railroad ties could be disposed of properly.

Now that a facility has been identified, Hargreaves said the ties should be removed within two weeks.