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Topsham to conduct feasibility study for riverside trail

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Topsham to conduct feasibility study for riverside trail

TOPSHAM — The town will determine next year whether a waterfront trail in the lower village is feasible.

The study will come after the Board of Selectmen approved a $13,000 Maine Coastal Program shore and harbor planning grant on Dec. 6.

The project ties in with the town's continuing look at developing a park and public water access point in the lower village, near the old fire station.

A trail could potentially run along the Androscoggin River from that area, and toward Riverview Cemetery and Amenity Manor, both on Elm Street.

"It's a feasibility study," Planning Director Rich Roedner said Tuesday. "Is it possible to put a trail along the river?"

He noted that the land in that area slopes down, drops off and levels out again.

"Is it too wet, is it flooded too much?," Roedner said. "Those are the questions we're going to try to get answered."

All the property that the trail would have to cross is privately owned, the planner said. The path would be about 2,000 feet long.

"We've heard from some property owners who have said they think it would be a great idea and they'd be willing to give us easements," he said. "All of the property owners will certainly be invited into the meetings, but before we actually sit down and start talking to them about easements ... we want to see if (the project) is even possible."

The study could take about a year.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.