Half of Cape Cod Rail Trail Closed Until June 2006

Cape loses a month of the best biking weather this Fall


eginning September 12, 2005 to June of 2006, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be closing the Cape Cod Rail Trail from Route 134 in Dennis to Millstone Road in Brewster for repairs and rehabilitation.

This scene along Long Pond in Harwich at Route 124 is part of what will be closed this Fall through next June.

The work to be done includes: reclaiming and widening the asphalt, upgrading the equestrian shoulder, selectively removing invasive trees, installing root barriers, improving the parking lots and road intersections, and implementing other landsape improvements along this 10 mile section.

Re-opening date a "maybe"

This process will be known as Phase I. During this period, the 12 miles of the trail from Nickerson State Park in Brewster to Lecount Hollow Road in Wellfleet will remain open.

According to the Boston Globe, there was a caveat in the conservation department's press release, which said ''it is expected" the first phase of the project would be open when the second phase is closed. Officials said weather will be a determining factor.

Next year we lose the "Shoulder Season" again

In year two, from after Labor Day 2006 to June of 2007, Phase 2 will require that the Rail Trail be closed from Mitchell Lane in Brewster to LeCount Hollow Road in Wellfleet for similar trail improvements, including a salt marsh culvert replacement and repair of the eroding embankment at Namskaket Creek at the Brewster/Orleans town line and improvement to the Route 6 bicycle tunnel in Eastham.

It is expected that the bike path improvements in Phase 1 from Dennis to Brewster will be complete and open to the public when Phase 2 is closed for construction. With this phased approach to reconstruction, the trail is expected to remain open during the peak summer months of July and August with only partial closings during the next two fall, winter,and spring seasons. Plans and specifications for the 22-mile trail have been advertised and construction is estimated to cost $6,200,000.

DCR Project Contact: Danny O'Brien (508)866-2580, ext. 120.

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