The Cross Vermont Trail Association announces that the long-awaited Winooski Bridge on the Cross Vermont Trail in East Montpelier is completed. Back in July, many observers witnessed the 200-foot-long bicycle and pedestrian bridge being hoisted into the air over the river. Since then, contractors have worked to finish abutments and structural details, which are now done. However, the bridge is not yet open to the public.
Meanwhile, numerous other elements of the larger trail project are also being completed, leading to the bridge from each direction. A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening the bridge and the first section of new trail to public use is planned for May 2022.
This bridge is the keystone piece connecting the Montpelier Bike Path across East Montpelier up to where the existing rail trail begins at Route 14 — and ultimately to connect the Barre-Montpelier area into a statewide multi-use path network.
Travelers along Route 2 in East Montpelier have seen orange “road construction ahead” signs all this past year. In addition to the new bridge, contractors have built a trailhead parking area located one-third mile east of the bridge on Route 2. And to link the parking area to the bridge, contractors rebuilt a 650-foot section of guardrail and road shoulder along Route 2 to make room for a fully separate trail, between the road and the river on the outside of the guardrail.
The Cross Vermont Trail staff is working now — and into next year — to build remaining trail segments between the completed projects. Volunteers are invited to help.
Also under construction are two paths that link with U-32 high school, one for mountain bikes and one that is fully accessible. The trail association is also partnering with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail to connect the river to the trail for portaging and water access.
In all, 2.5 miles of trail will be built between Gallison Hill Road and Route 2 by late 2022. And by the end of 2023, an additional 2.5 miles will be built to finish the project up to Route 14.
Updates on the entire project are posted at www.crossvermont.org with information on how the public can get involved, volunteer, or donate.