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New trail work to begin in spring

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Georgetown to Lewes pathway will be longest in state

Phase 1 construction of the longest bike/pedestrian trail in the state is set to start in March 2016.

The Georgetown to Lewes Rail with Trail will follow the Delaware Coast Line Railroad right-of- way 18 miles from Gills Neck Road in Lewes to the historic Georgetown rail station.

The first phase of the $1.2 million project includes a 1.25-mile trail from Gills Neck Road to a crossing at Savannah Road. The trail falls under the jurisdiction of the Delaware Department of Transportation.

A trailhead with 39 parking spaces and a building with re-strooms and a changing room will be constructed near the new Lewes library and will connect to the Junction and Breakwater Trail.

The new trail will mirror the recently completed Junction and Breakwater Trail extension providing a 10-foot, asphalt-paved pathway for cyclists and pedestrians. It will contain additional trailheads and connect to other trails, walkways and sidewalks along the route. Grassbusters Landscaping Inc. of Newark is the low bidder for the first phase.

The trail will be constructed adjacent to the rail line on state-owned land and land leased from the state by the Delaware Coast Line Railroad. The state maintains a 66-foot right of way along the rail line. Phase 2 of the project is expected to extend under the Nassau bridge.

The project was among those included in Gov. Jack Markell's First State Trails and Pathways Initiative under the Walkable Bikeable Delaware law passed in 2011 by the General Assembly. The rail line is used about once a week to transport three or four rail cars from Georgetown to SPI Pharma Group near Cape Henlopen State Park. The train is restricted to travel no more than 5 mph. See the plan at ashx?id=4301.

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Original Publication Date: January 1, 2016

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