Construction underway on trail bridge in Manchester

MANCHESTER – Contracts have been awarded to complete the replace­ment of the railway bridge spanning the Piscataquog River near the Manchester Goffstown line. When completed, the new bridge will connect Goffstown to Manchester along the Piscataquog Trail, a recreational trail that runs from the Merrimack River to the Goffstown line.

The construction engineering services contract was awarded to Hoyle, Tanner & Associates of Manchester. The bridge construction is being performed by T. Buck Construction of Auburn, Maine.

Manchester MOVES, Inc., a local not-for-profit organization formed to help the city convert abandoned railway corridors into walking/bicycling trails, successfully raised funds over the past four years to provide the city with the 20 percent required local match for this three quarter of a million dollar proj­ect. The balance of the project is funded through various federal programs and grants, awarded by the NHDOT and administered by the City of Manchester.

Manchester MOVES, Inc. acknowl­edges the following businesses and or­ganizations who have made this contri­bution possible: Northeast Delta Dental, Samuel P. Hunt Foundation, McIninch Foundation, Bean Foundation, St. Mary’s Bank, Mary Louise Billings Trust, Arthur Getz Foundation, Manchester YMCA, VHB, wedü, Martignetti Companies of NH and the Singer Family along with many other grassroots contributors.

Manchester MOVES, Inc. co-found­er D. Dean Williams noted that as construction costs escalated over the four year period, the organization was in jeopardy of coming up short of the funds required for the city to sign the construction contract. But in the final hours, one family stepped forward. Wil­liams explained, “In honor of the Sing­er family’s late father, Irving and their wonderful and loving mother, Bernice – this new walking and bicycling gateway into Manchester will be known as the Irving and Bernice Singer Bridge.”

The new clear span bridge will open the city’s many attractions to our neighbors to the west, offering a safe pedestrian route directly into Man­chester’s downtown. This highly antic­ipated project will be help to complete the first of several “gateways into Man­chester” for walkers and bicyclists. The Piscataquog Trail will then be known as the Northeast Delta Dental Trail.

According to Kevin Shepard, Man­chester Public Works director, con­struction is underway with completion and dedication ceremonies planned for late September or early October.

Lowell Van Ruden of the Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail said, “In ad­dition to providing a safer non-motor­ized commuter connection, it will also expand access to businesses and recre­ational opportunities on both sides.”