The St. Johnsbury Select Board has approved the final financial piece of the St. Johnsbury rail trail extension project. The $1.7 million dollar project extends the trail from the South Main Street trailhead to a new trailhead on Bay Street across from the “honking” tunnel. The board approved a local match of $236,000 on Monday that will be added to $960,00 in funding from the Northern Borders Regional Commission and $547,000 in American Rescue Plan money. However, some obstacles could sink the idea. If that happens, the town will redirect the trail to a short section along Bay Street that is separate from the road. The funding also includes money for improvements on Bay Street near the trail-head pavilion to include more lighting, sidewalks and additional parking. There’s also money to upgrade the honking tunnel that provides access to the St. Johnsbury downtown. The town plans to seek environmental approvals and permitting this fall and winter. Construction is scheduled to start next summer.
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