10:22 AM EDT, June 13, 2012
Officials will hold a public information meeting on the proposed Civil War Railroad Trail project that would connect Hagerstown to Weverton, in the southern portion of Washington County.
The meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at the Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Co., 6 St. Paul St. in 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 an emailed news release from Washington County.
The proposed trail would encompass 23.4 miles along the former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bed, currently owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The trail is expected to create healthy lifestyle 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 says. Those who could contribute funding include private, nonprofit entities, Washington County and cooperating municipalities, the State of Maryland, Maryland Department of Transportation, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Government, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, according to the release.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners in February voted to send a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation requesting planning and development funding. In March, the commissioners and the City of Hagerstown sent a letter to the Maryland 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 less than five letters and emails in opposition and the Town of Keedysville has publicly endorsed the effort, the release says.
More information can be obtained at www.washco-md.net.
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