City to Consider Purchasing Additional Land for Rail Trail

Other sections of the Bradford Rail Trail.

Andew Herlihy, community development division director.

Andew Herlihy, community development division director.

Haverhill city councilors are to decide whether to pursue a third section of the Bradford Rail Trail at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini is asking the council to appropriate $60,000 from free cash account to extend the Bradford Rail Trail. A “small section” of the former “Georgetown Branch” rail line, off Railroad Street near the former Hoyt and Worthen plant, has become available, according to Andrew K. Herlihy, division director, Community Development Department.

“This occurred because Pan Am Railways reached a purchase and sale agreement with a private party to acquire for $56,000 an 18,800 square foot corridor near the intersection of Railroad and South Grove streets,” Herlihy wrote Thursday to Fiorentini. “Governmental entities (federal, state and municipal) have the legal right to match this offer and secure the land for themselves. The state is not exercising this option but is asking if the city or other public entities are interested.”

Fiorentini’s appropriation request includes $4,000 in “closing costs and legal fees.”

“The railroad has just given us notice that a third section of the trail is available. We have only until April 12 to let them know if we are interested or the sale will go to someone else,” Fiorentini wrote Friday to councilors. “I strongly recommend that we purchase this to protect our interests. Although it does not directly connect to the section we are building now, ultimately, it is a critical piece of our vision of a rail trail that goes all the way to Groveland.”

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

One thought on “City to Consider Purchasing Additional Land for Rail Trail

  1. Good reporting.I think the city should purchase the Georgetown branch all the way to Groveland, if extend the Jack Bevelaqua rail trail into Newburyport.jack recommended this on open Mike in 1980’s.