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jandrewsshovelEastern Trail News Page - Current and Archive

Many articles about the Eastern Trail are organized on this news archives page.  The most recent articles appear immediately below, with the first part of each article displayed. Click on any article title, or the "Read More.." link to read the full text of that article. A list of additional article titles appears at the bottom of the page.



Plans for new Maine Turnpike exit, Eastern Trail link, still lack funding

The Forecaster, Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 9:20 am

SCARBOROUGH — Steps to improve highway transportation and off-road recreation were taken last week by town officials, but the end results could be years away.

On Nov. 6, councilors unanimously endorsed a preliminary report justifying a new Maine Turnpike exit near mile 40, at the Saco-Scarborough boundary.

Two days before that, Town Planner Dan Bacon hosted a public meeting outlining a proposed connection for the Eastern Trail, from the east bank of the Nonesuch River to the South Portland Greenbelt at the Wainwright Athletic Fields.

[Note: Details about the discussion of the turnpike study are not shown here - read the full online story for these details.]

Eastern Trail

The DOT also funded the $150,000 study on how to complete about a mile of the Eastern Trail, a project that would require at least two bridges and carry a preliminary estimated cost of $3 million to $3.5 million.

"It is incredibly complex ... but a very high priority for the town and the region," Bacon said.


Eastern Trail expansion plan reviewed

By Michael Kelley, Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH - A scenic route connecting the Piscataqua River and Casco Bay is one step closer to being completed.

Last week Scarborough Town Planner Dan Bacon and representatives from the Eastern Trail Alliance unveiled a preliminary plan to extend the Eastern Trail in Scarborough to the Wainwright Recreation Complex, the beginning of South Portland’s Greenbelt Walkway.

The Greenbelt Walkway is a 5.7-mile trail that runs from the Scarborough/South Portland town line to Portland Breakwater Lighthouse in Bug Light Park. The Eastern Trail starts near Route 103 in Kittery and ends at the Nonesuch River in Scarborough.


Biddeford Savings Funds Maps to Biking Adventure on the Eastern Trail

Charles Petersen, president & CEO of Biddeford Savings (at left), and Bob Hamblen, president of the Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA), review one of the 10,000 maps the bank donated to the ETA to help the organization encourage use of the 65-mile greenwaysCharles Petersen, pres. & CEO of Biddeford Savings (left), & Bob Hamblen, pres. of the Eastern Trail Alliance, review one of the 10,000 maps the bank donated to the ETA to encourage use of the 65-mile greenwayBiddeford, ME – Funding from Biddeford Savings is helping thousands of hiking, biking and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy southern Maine’s Eastern Trail.

The bank provided full funding for the printing of 10,000 maps of the Eastern Trail, a 65-mile section of the East Coast Greenway, a transportation-recreation greenway connecting Kittery, in southernmost Maine, to Casco Bay in South Portland. The Eastern Trail has a growing span of off-road sections, as well as scenic on-road trails designed to follow primarily quiet country roads. Experienced bike riders and hikers can enjoy a beautiful journey from South Portland's Bug Light Park on Casco Bay to Kittery on the Piscataqua River.


Kennebunk Elementary School Biking Program

By Diane I. Dyer

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

KESbikingFor the third straight year approximately 120 third-grade students at Kennebunk Elementary School (KES) are riding bicycles during October physical education classes. Students are assessed the first week of biking as they ride the 1/2 loop around the school; only then can it be determined if the class is ready for the Eastern Trail. the program started at the beginning of the month there were 10 non-riders. Currently there are only four. The program will resume in May.

Thanks to private donations and to grants from Safe Routes To School, Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition, The Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel, and Kennebunk Elementary Parent Teacher Association, the fleet now consists of 27 bicycles. the bikes were purchased from local shops.


SMMC's use of the Eastern Trail

By Joe Yuhas

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

According to Peggy Belanger RN, who is Cancer Care Coordinator and Oncology Nurse Navigator at Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC), access to the Eastern Trail contributes greatly to the programs that she administers. The mere fact that the trail is in such close proximity to the medical center campus encourages creativity and innovation in programing for patients.

Peggy described “Walk Away From Cancer,” which utilizes the trail for the exercise component of the program. This program was specifically designed for both recently diagnosed patients and patients currently in treatment to provide them with the opportunity to develop a sustained regimen of beneficial exercise. The program meets two times a week for six weeks, and in addition to exercise it has educational and a nutritional components and serves as a support group. Groups meet in the spring and fall and walk the trail at their own pace in small groups that facilitate sharing and support, thus fostering a very important social contribution to recovery.


SETA Progress

By Judy Haley

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

The summer of 2013 was a busy one for members of SETA, a subcommittee of ETA! Their enthusiasm and dedication were boundless, as the volunteers set up displays and presentations to spread the word of the Eastern Trail and build support at many seasonal outside events and celebrations, emphasizing that the ETA is now concentrating on bringing the trail to and through their towns and villages. Without exception, these York County missionaries reported successes and are eager to continue the efforts for better trail awareness moving south.


The Happiest Bridges in Maine?

By John Andrews

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

On September 28, 2011, Maine Turnpike Authority dedicated its Eastern Trail bridge, which it had built to close the most challenging gap in the Eastern Trail, a bridge that would allow the ET to connect the southern York County towns of Kennebunk, Wells, North Berwick, South Berwick Eliot and Kittery with the northern towns of Arundel, Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough and South Portland.

It’s also the happiest ET bridge, one of smiles and blasts— as you can see in these photos of two Kennebunk boys as they welcome truckers who often cause ecstatic joy with their friendly horn blasts. Thousands of drivers pass daily under the Turnpike’s ET bridge, noting not only the trail’s progress but also the salute provided by energized ET users. Bring your children or grandchildren there to welcome Maine’s truckers, and don’t be surprised if they send a blast your way.


New bridge links Maine, N.H.

The opening of the Memorial Bridge renews a connection between Kittery and Portsmouth.

The Associated Press

ETA at the Memorial Bridge Reopening!Judy Haley and Tom Littlefield lead the ETA contingent at the reopening ceremony.PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — New Hampshire and Maine celebrated the opening of a new bridge Thursday that has become a steel symbol of their past cooperation and their commitment to future commerce.

The $81.4 million Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, replaces one that was built in 1923 and closed two years ago.

As she did 90 years ago at age 5, former Portsmouth mayor Eileen Foley did the ribbon-cutting honors, riding across the bridge in a golf cart with a bouquet of flowers on her lap. The crowd cheered as she cut the ribbon, then sang "God Bless America."

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan noted that the bridge includes state-of-the-art technology to meet the needs of modern commerce and travel, yet echoes the look and feel of the original.


Biddeford Savings Puts ET on the Map(s)

By Scott Marcoux

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

2013 ET Off Road Brochure CoverMap Brochure CoverAn off-road greenway is of little use to travelers without a way for them to navigate it, right? The ETA is continuously looking to disprove the local adage that “you can’t get there from here” [add appropriate downeast accent] with additional tools to show trail users where they are, and where they are going.

In addition to various resources available on our website, and our popular full-color Trail Guides, the ETA this year introduced a quick trifold map that outlines all the completed off-road sections of the ET. Better still, it is free because it is fully funded by Biddeford Savings Bank.


What's All That Construction?

by Bob LaNigra

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

What is all that construction going on in Scarborough??

You may have noticed considerable evidence of construction at the Pine Point Road and Black Point Road intersections with the ET. I talked with the Scarborough Town Planner, Dan Bacon, and learned that the town has funded upwards of $400,000 for construction at those crucial points to improve traffic flow and, more important, to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bikers using the Eastern Trail.


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