Dover's Mayor Robert Carrier gathered with other city leaders last week to celebrate the grand opening of a new section of the city's community trail.

The new section extends the trail from the former terminus at Fisher Street to the new terminus at Central Avenue and Rutland Street.

The project included formalizing the entrance to the rural section of the trail at Fourth Street with a paved, sloped ramp.

"They finished it just in time for the ribbon-cutting," Carrier said on Tuesday. "It's really, really fantastic."

City of Dover

Carrier said he got to the event early and could see many people using the trail from the entrance located across the street from the Subway close to Exit 7 on the Spaulding Turnpike.

Carrier said they plan to have some installations along the trail for children to explore. One based on the planets and solar system is possible, he said.

City of Dover

While construction began last year, Phase III has been in development for more than six years, according to a press release.

Development began with receiving funding from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. The reimbursement program covered 80 percent of the original $400,000 cost of design and construction.

Since first receiving the TAP grant in 2015, the project grew in scope with the final cost of $628,802, according to the press release.

Dover’s portion of the project is funded through the Transportation Improvements Program portion of the Capital Improvements Program and Recreational Impact Fees.

In addition to grant funding, this phase of construction was also made possible by local property owners, who signed new and revised easements to allow the community trail to continue.

City officials have been planning and acquiring rights for the community trail project since the mid-1990s. The trail first opened in 2011.

The next section of the trail runs along the Cochecho River near Fourth Street, crosses Whittier Street, goes under the Spaulding Turnpike and continues to Watson Road. It is known as the rural section and provides opportunities for bicycling, hiking, bird watching, and fishing, according to the press release.

Those interested in being a part of the Dover Community Trail Advisory Committee should contact City Planner Donna Benton at 603-516-6008 or d.benton@dover.nh.gov.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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