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The work would be done on the portion of the trail from Shirley Park Road to East Union Street. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

Grant awarded for Goffstown Rail Trail improvements

GOFFSTOWN - Selectmen Monday accepted a grant of more than $24,000 that will go toward fixing up the town's rail trail.

The Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail recently received $24,420 to help cover the cost of improving the trail from Shirley Park Road to East Union Street. The nonprofit organization helps with the promotion, design, development and maintenance of the trail.

The money came from the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails through the federal recreational trail grant program.

Compact gravel will be laid down to help improve walking conditions and a split rail fence will be installed. Brush clearing and drainage improvements also will be done.

These improvements help to bring the trail up to the town's guidelines.

"This will bring the rail trail up to 52 percent completed to meet the town's specifications," said Warren Denby, president of the Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail.

A request for proposals will be sent out in the coming months seeking a contractor to do the work.

The hope is to have the work done by the end of June, Denby said.

Currently, the trail is about 5.5 miles long and extends from the western end of Goffstown Village to the Manchester town line in Pinardville. The trail continues from there as the Piscataquog Trail extends approximately another two miles into downtown Manchester.

The last grant the group received was a little over half a decade ago.

In 2010, the Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail received $390,000 worth of funding from the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program. Another $130,000 grant was also used for the project in order to cover the cost increases.

That money was used to improve four sites along the trail. Other work included installation of a traffic light that allows users of the trail to cross Mast Road near the Villa Augustina ball fields, creation of a parking area near the crossing, and installation of crossing markings and a rectangular rapid flash beacon at Henry Bridge Road near Mast Road.

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