June 18, 2018
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Bangor to pursue grant for Essex Street-Cascade Park trail

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — If the city’s application is successful, pedestrians and bicyclists soon may be able to make their way from the Bangor Mall area to Cascade Park in relative safety.

City councilors Wednesday night authorized an application for a grant that would cover most of the cost of a key link in a network of recreational trails planned for the city.

Plans for the project call for building about half a mile of paved bicycle-pedestrian trail from the end of Sylvan Road to the Interstate 95/Stillwater Avenue overpass, according to city documents.

That is the only nonpassable part of a roughly 3-mile trail that ultimately will link Essex Street to Cascade Park, Lucy Quimby, chairman of the Bangor Trails Project, said during a City Council meeting Wednesday night.

The route connects those two points by way of Saxl Park, Eastern Maine Community College, Stillwater Avenue and Essex Woods. As such, the route is handy to the Bangor Mall area and the “tree streets” as well as the Stillwater Gardens neighborhood.

Though the the trails group had less than a month’s notice about the grant opportunity, plans for that trail and others have been in the works for almost six years.

Because of the health, recreational and travel benefits it would provide to users — and the way it connects neighborhoods, businesses, institutions and natural areas — the proposed Cascade Park to Essex Woods trail received high ratings in a survey of residents done several years ago, Quimby noted this month in a memo to city councilors.

The federal Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program grant the city is seeking would cover the bulk of the $595,900 project cost. It comes with a 20 percent local match requirement that can be met with cash, material and supplies or labor.

The Bangor Land Trust already is putting up $20,000 provided by the Stephen and Tabitha King and Elmina B. Sewall foundations toward the project, according to Quimby. The trail project is a joint venture of the city and the land trust.

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