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Milford Selectmen Support Exploring Last Phase of Bike Trail

Caption: The Milford Upper Charles Trail Committee created a large graphic for the Board of Selectmen to see the two options for the missing part of the trail that would connect downtown Milford to Medway Road.



The Board of Selectmen unanimously supported the Milford Upper Charles Trail Committee's request to explore completing the "missing trail link" using donated labor and materials. With Phase II of the trail under construction, the section between downtown Milford and Medway Road (Route 109) is the only part preventing a complete Hopkinton-to-Holliston trail.

Reno DeLuzio, Trail Committee chairman, requested and received two approvals from the selectmen at their April 12 meeting: approval to route the trial through the former Cueroni property that is now owned by the town and approval to explore building the last leg of the trail using donations. If the town bid the work to comply with the prevailing wage law, it would cost an estimated $500,000 to build the last trail segment, DeLuzio estimated. With donations, the cost would be reduced to $100,000, he added.

The segment is not eligible for any state or federal funding because it is included in the plans for the so-called "alternative route" for downtown traffic – which is still being considered as a future project to receive funding. "As long as the alternate route project remains a planned future project, construction of the missing trail link, as a stand-alone interim project, is not eligible for state or federal funds," DeLuzio told the board.

"The committee feels it's still better to move forward than sit still," he said. The Trail Committee came up with two options to construct an "interim path," he explained. The first would follow the Veteran's Memorial Drive corridor as originally planned, but that route is "heavily covered" and – due to a 15-foot drop in grade to the former railroad bed – is often under water, DeLuzio said.

The second proposed route would run from the end of Veterans Memorial Drive, through the Cueroni property to Carroll Street, from Carroll Street to Hayward Street, cross Hayward Street, go back to the Veterans Memorial Drive corridor to Mount Pleasant Street, and then back to the trail head at the commuter parking lot across the street from Sacred Heart Church, he explained.

"Neither one of the options is ideal," he commented.

DeLuzio outlined a schedule of activities that included soliciting free engineering work on the trail segment in May, conducting meetings with abutting property owners during May through August; making a decision in September on which option – or neither – to pursue; spending October through December lining up firms willing to donate work; pursuing the town's share of funding in the spring of 2011; and, beginning actual construction in the fall of 2011.









Caption: Work is underway off Medway Road (Route 109) on Phase II of the Upper Charles Trail. This segment will run from Medway Road to just before the Holliston town line.




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