The Making of the LVRT
When the LVRT project really gets going this will be the place to follow its progress in living color. We’ll have regular updates, photos and HD footage as the east-west adventure takes shape. If you love Vermont landscapes and seeing how cool stuff is made, it will be a reality show worth following. As we await the official start of construction on the full length of the LVRT, we wanted to share a couple of milestones to date.
East Hardwick Section
When a section of the original rail bed was washed out in East Hardwick in 2006, the team at VAST saw it as an opportunity to try out some of the clearing and reconstruction techniques planned for the length of the LVRT. Overseen by VAST engineer Alan Robertson, the .6-mile “prototype” section of trail was completed during the summer of 2007. The project involved clearing, drainage ditching, resurfacing and grading. Along with the finished Swanton section, it gives an exciting sense of what the 96 mile experience will be like.
Swanton Section of Finished Trail
This 1-mile section of finished trail in Swanton was completed in 2009, and marks the western most end of the LVRT. This last leg of the trail is a great example of the value that the LVRT will have to all of the communities that it passes through. The Swanton section has already become a center of fitness and recreation for the townspeople. On any given day, even this short section of the rail trail draws school groups, families, and visitors alike. Imagine what the finished project will mean to Vermont.
In addition to the trail rehabilitation and construction, the making of the LVRT will involve renovating and replacing a number of crossings and bridges along its route. Two great examples of this work are the new bridge crossing Rte. 2B in Danville and the wonderful new Swanton Footbridge. The new Bridge 16L in Danville is another example of the working partnership between VTrans and VAST. It was funded and installed by VTrans in 2008 in order to facilitate the completion of the LVRT.
The Swanton Footbridge Bridge was originally built in 1902 spanning the Lamoille River in Milton – and it was one of the few bridges to survive the great flood of 1927. In 2009 it was dismantled and transported twenty miles to Swanton to serve as the new pedestrian crossing of the Missisquoi River at the end of the LVRT. The center section was added to the historic structure to span the greater width of the Missisquoi.