The communities of Southbridge and Dudley in southern Massachusetts are showing great determination and ingenuity in pursing their rail-trail ambitions.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported last week that local officials have been able to save tens of thousands of dollars in the construction of trail bridges crossing the Quinebaug River by doing the design and engineering work themselves, and reusing existing girders at the build sites. The towns are also stockpiling the train tracks, which they will sell for scrap metal--a future source of funding for the rail-trail.
All this creative energy comes from the community's strong belief in the great value of a trail, which they hope will one day connect Southbridge, Dudley and Thompson, then loop back into Dudley and Webster.
"State Rep. Peter J. Durant, R-Spencer, said rail-trails are powerful economic drivers," theGazette writes. "Mr. Durant said he and his wife, on a weekly basis, look for trails throughout New England to ride their bikes or hike on."
It's great to see lawmakers with such vision. State Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, is another of the project's supporters, making this a truly bipartisan effort. Way to go Massachusetts.