Abington and Rockland have been awarded a $100,000 state grant to continue the development of a recreational rail trail along the former Hanover Branch Railroad corridor in the two towns.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation awarded the funding through its Recreational Trails grant program. The evolving trail is a path for local residents to use for recreational activities, including walking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing.
Rockland and Abington have previously cleared nearly all of their portions of the trail, including removing the old rails, spikes, metal, and ties. Last fall Rockland graded and paved an initial segment of its portion of the trail running from Howard Street to Plain Street in the town center, while also undertaking drainage repairs and installing an informational kiosk.
The new grant will pay for grading and paving two more trail sections, from Liberty Street to Howard Street in Rockland, and from Plain Street in Rockland to Monroe Street in north Abington.
Weather permitting, the work is set to begin in early November and should be completed by the end of fall, officials said. Once the newly funded work is completed, the rail trail will offer 9,986 feet of paved trail.
Rockland plans to seek additional state funding to pave a final portion of its section, from Liberty Street to the Hanover line.John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.