CCRT will reach Exit 6 under the plans.
By Jonathan Mayo
Citizens packed the meeting room at Yarmouth Police headquarters Thursday night to hear plans for Phase 2 of Cape Cod Rail Trail expansion. This portion of the project would bring the trail from Old Townhouse Park in Yarmouth all the way to Exit 6 in Barnstable.
Yarmouth DPW Director George Allaire, below right, enthusiastically hosted the event, with specific plans presented by Project Manager Joe Magni of VHB, Inc. The Cape Cod Commission was represented by Andrea Adams.
Mr. Magni outlined four major goals for the project. It is intended to be “adaptable for all uses”, from pedestrians, to cyclists, to in-line skaters. It is to adhere to the most recent design standards. It will also be ADA and AAB compliant. Magni also touted the goal of connectivity, that the new trails should link to important services and attractions.
The new trail would begin at existing paths on Forest Rd. in Yarmouth, which currently terminate at Higgins-Crowell Rd. From Higgins-Crowell the new path will cross Willow St. and Route 6, winding through Fish and Wildlife properties, (Hyannis Woods Conservation), and landing alongside Mary Dunn Rd. It would then parallel South Flintlock, Breed’s Hill Rd., and Independence Drive. The path then winds along Kidd’s Hill Rd., crossing Phinney’s Lane, running just South of Route 6 towards exit 6. It will end near exit 6 at the Hyannis Golf Club. The following maps show the Route from Exit 6, East to Yarmouth.
There are some interesting features to the new plans. There will be trailheads at Station Ave, Bayberry Golf Course, Mary Dunn Rd. and Route 132. Parking lots are planned for Higgins-Crowell Rd., Mary Dunn Rd. and elsewhere. Certain crossings will feature push-button signal changing for safety.
Joe Magni described the design as having a “much different character” than existing trails. He likened it to the Madaket trails on Nantucket, being “more rural”. Certain areas will feature substantial grades given the native topography, but planners are attempting to minimize those strains where possible. The maximum grade will be 5%. Also, rest stops will be strategically placed to address the more difficult portions. Pedestrian bridges will assure safety at the busiest crossings. These will feature 345 foot approaches and departures.
Costs for the extension are estimated at $11 Million, and construction could occur in two or three-phases, depending on DOT recommendations. Completion could take as long as 6 years.
Judging from the enthusiasm of the participants in last night's meeting, we can anticipate an exciting ride in the future. But Joe Magni cautioned that “this is just a line on paper”, and “there’s a long way to go…”
Legislative support for this project came from State Senator Dan Wolf. We applaud this support, as the project is as important as it is challenging. We look forward to expanded connectivity from community to community.