Salem Bike-Ped Corridor Gets State Funding Boost

August 1, 2014


submitted by Larry Belair

Efforts to extend the bike path program into Salem got a giant boost recently when the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority announced its annual tax credits grants list.  The Friends of the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor were in Concord to hear that their application for $125,000 of tax credit funds was approved by the CDFA.

Reacting to the notification, FSBPC Co-chair David Topham said, “This announcement is the most exciting news we’ve had since the TE grant for this project was approved in 2010.  This means that when these credits are sold to the business community, we will fulfill our local match obligation in order to get phase one of the corridor off the drawing table and into the field.  The net proceeds, coupled with private donations already received, will meet the $229,410 requirement of the federal grant.

“We appreciate the letters of support, the enthusiasm shown for the tax credit effort and the help from the Town leaders as we pursued the grant.  But our job has really just begun.  Funding this first phase will allow us to connect to the soon-to-be-completed final leg of the Windham Rail Trail and will extend the bike-ped corridor into Salem down to Rockingham Road, across from Pentucket Bank.  But, for this to really be a success, we plan to continue building southward, eventually connecting to the existing trail in Methuen.”

According to Steering Committee Chairman Larry Belair, “Many people have worked hard to get this project to this point, but none more than David and his Co-chair Linda Harvey.  Since 2007, they have put their time, talent and treasure into making this happen.  Sometime next year, families from Greater Salem will begin to use this transportation and recreational amenity.  And, thanks to the generosity of Salem’s business community and many private citizens, they will be able to travel safely up through Windham and Derry.  We are making plans to raise additional local funds so that the work already started on a section just west of North Broadway, phase two can be completed down to the portion installed by Joe Faro of Tuscan Kitchen.  ‘From Main Street in Salem to downtown Derry’, that’s our near-term goal.”

The design of the North Broadway phase is well underway.  Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. was selected earlier this year as the project design engineering contractor.  When the design is approved, bids will be sought, a contractor will be chosen and, if all goes well, physical construction work will begin in the spring of 2015.  Anyone interested in more information, donating funds, participating in the tax credits program or providing help can contact FSBPC leaders David Topham at 898-9926, Linda Harvey at 898-5285 or Larry Belair at 898-4909.