$200k donation will help finish 4th phase of rail trail in LondonderryBy CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent January 03. 2018 11:57PM
LONDONDERRY — A donation of roughly $200,000 for the Londonderry Rail Trail project from three New Hampshire companies will help complete the fourth phase of the nature path in the spring.
Klüber Lubrication of Londonderry and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies and Vibracoustic North America LP, both of Manchester, donated the funds, which will complete a quarter-mile long trail from Londonderry North Elementary School into North Londonderry.
The funding also will finance the installation of a pedestrian crossing signal at the intersection of Route 28 and Sanborn Road.
All three companies’ donations are part of the German-based Freudenberg Group donation of slightly more than $200,000.
The remainder of the funding will go toward Phase 5 of the trail and will create educational and environmental interpretive signs.
The final phase of the project is described as “the most scenic part of Londonderry nobody has seen,” said Rail Trail Committee President John Daley.
The fifth phase is a mile-long section crossing the Cohas Marsh in North Londonderry and ends at the perimeter of the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
With assistance from the Freudenberg donation, half of the necessary $400,000 for Phase 5 has been raised.
“We currently have three sections of trail that are complete, and they’re 3.2 miles long in their entirety,” said Trailways spokesman Pollyann Winslow on Wednesday. “Four will be completed as soon as the weather is pending. The money is there now and the base coat is down, the surface has been covered, so now we’re waiting for the final top coat.”
A traffic signal, part of Phase 4, is expected to be completed in April. The equipment will not include a continuously operating traffic signal but will be manually operated as traffic in the area was not deemed heavy enough by the state.
“It will stop traffic in both directions until the pedestrian or bicyclist gets across the road. But it has to be one that is activated when somebody is there because there’s not enough traffic to have it constantly cycling,” Winslow said.
The Freudenberg Group has offered to have employees serve as “trail ambassadors,” said Toby Porter, regional sales manager for Klüber’s Northeast Group.
“We envision our employees helping to clean up litter on the trail, install signs, notify the committee of trail issues and to provide landscaping at trail sites,” Porter said.
Winslow said the donation and offer to assist with trail maintenance is a first from any company that has provided funding for the project.
“As the trail continues to lengthen, help with maintenance is greatly needed and appreciated,” she said.
Voters agreed last year to help fund Phase 4 of the project after receiving grants from Freudenberg and the Samuel P Hunt Foundation.