Rail Trail will get deck

The Rail Trail will have a platform overlooking the Mettowee River– that is if the weather decides to cooperate, village officials said.

Regular Rail Trail users might have noticed some pressure-treated planking set up along the area where the rail trail bridge came to rest before it was put in place, just off of the Morrison Avenue end of the bridge.

Workers began to frame up the decking of the approximately 20-foot platform the week of April 4 but were pulled away from the job for other work and have experienced other delays in the interceding days.

The days since have just not been conducive to work at the site DPW Superintendent Dan Williams said, adding he hoped to have people working on the job April 21 and 22. However, once again an issue popped up, in this case a water and sewer issue kept the DPW busy most of April 21.

When the weather finally allows work on the deck, Williams said he expected the job to take just a few weeks to complete.

When completed the deck will have bench seating, a railing for safety and stairs for access to the park intended for the property adjacent to the trail.

The deck will allow trail users a place to stop and take a break that should have a bird’s eye view of the area surrounding the bridge, Slate Valley Museum and the future cultural campus area between the Slate Valley and the Pember Library and Museum.

The idea of a deck overlooking the river near the new Rail Trail Bridge originated when former Mayor Jay Niles and other watched workers from the bridge company Town and County Bridge and Rail working to assembled the bridge on site.

Town and County Bridge and Rail placed cribbing along the tops of the remnants of the coal shoots and slid the ever-expanding bridge along the cribbing until the three pieces were joined into one. The assembled bridge then swung into place using a giant crane and was mounted in place.

Village clerk Rick Roberts said the deck was paid for with the last of the rail trail grant funding. “I think at this point they’ve pretty much done everything else that they wanted to do. The maintenance and rehabilitation on the rest of the trail up through North Street is pretty much complete,” Roberts said. 

Mayor Brian LaRose said the deck will be just one more feature to make the area attractive to visitors to the community and community members alike.

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