5:01 PM EDT, June 13, 2012
Local government officials will hold a public information meeting next week on the proposed Civil War Railroad Trail that would connect Hagerstown to Weverton in southern Washington County.
The meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at the Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Co., 6St. Paul St., Boonsboro.
Washington County has partnered with the city of Hagerstown and the Hagerstown Bike Advisory Committee on the planning stages of the project.
The public is invited to attend to learn more about the potential project and offer comments, according to a county news release.
The proposed trail would encompass 23.4 miles along the former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad right of way, currently owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The trail is expected to offer recreational opportunities, tourism and economic development for county residents, passing nearly 14 federal, state and local parks, and providing easy access to several municipalities, the release said.
Estimated cost of the project is $16.4 million, the release said.
Funding could come from private nonprofit entities, the county and cooperating municipalities, the Maryland departments of Transportation and Natural Resources, and the U.S. departments of Transportation and the Interior, the release said.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners in February voted to send a letter to the state Department of Transportation requesting planning and development funding.
In March, the commissioners and the city of Hagerstown sent a letter to the state Department of Natural Resources asking for consideration and support of the project.
Information about the proposal has been presented to several business and community groups, and the county is sending letters to residents along the planned route to address any landowner concerns.
To date, the county has received more than 45 letters and emails of support, and fewer than five letters and emails in opposition, the release said. The Town of Keedysville has also publicly endorsed the effort.
More information can be obtained at www.washco-md.net.
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