Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Courant feels same way about the bridge as I do

I hope the complete bridge looks like this.

There's an editorial today in the Courant about the Salmon Brook Bridge I keep talking about. As you can tell from the title of this post, the Courant and I share similar feelings about the bridge. I think it's pretty awesome that one will have the ability to ride over 40 miles without riding on a road. Think of the epic rides I can take with my mom and dad now! They have no excuse now.

Here's the complete editorial:

Happy Trails

July 15, 2008

The Salmon Brook Bridge looks like a go, and that's good news for hikers and bikers in the central part of the state.

The new bridge will replace a derelict 300-foot-long railroad trestle in East Granby. It will fill the last major gap in a 21.5-mile section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. The new bridge will allow bikers and hikers to travel from Farmington through Avon, Simsbury, East Granby and part of Suffield to the Massachusetts line. Another seven-mile section is being paved in Southwick, Mass., so a trip of nearly 29 continuous miles will soon be possible.

With this section of trail completed, planners now look toward the completion of the entire 84-mile route from New Haven to Northhampton, Mass., along the path of an early 19th-century canal and a later railroad. Work in Westfield, Mass., will substantially complete the Bay State section; the major bottleneck in Connecticut is in Plainville, though advocates are hopeful some local routing problems can be resolved.

Completing the 21.5-mile section is a victory of persistence. The nonprofit Farmington Valley Trails Council, which has been working on the central part of the trail for 16 years, raised $70,000 to augment public funds to build the new Salmon Brook Bridge and spent years negotiating with the state Department of Transportation, which has been slow to embrace trails. With formal approval by East Granby officials, construction of the new bridge could begin as early as July 21.

The effort will be worth the trouble. The trail brings bicyclists through the centers of most of the towns, which means they can stop to shop or eat, or commute to work. The trail is immensely popular; it's not unusual to find cyclists from Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as all parts of Connecticut.

The success of this trail should encourage local and state officials to finish other ones in the state. Trails are a source of exercise and fresh air. They can be used for bicycling vacations or short trips that otherwise would have been taken by car. They are much safer for children and adults than biking on the road. In short, they add greatly to the quality of life that is Connecticut's competitive selling point.


Sissy said...

I think the Courant gets their ideas from your blog.

Brendan said...

Then my next entry should be: Courant decides to give Brendan $100k grant because he is awesome.

Maybe they'll rehire some reporters, too.