hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


February 7, 2013

Goal: Extend trail to Groveland

City eyes building river walkway across private land


The land where Haverhill Paperboard Company operated before closing two years ago is being eyed for a zoning change to residential, the mayor said.

“We’ve told the owner that a condition for rezoning is to provide the city an easement for the trail,” Fiorentini said. “And the Don Orione property (along the river), we have an easement right there, too. So we think it’s a doable project to have a trail go all the way to the Groveland line, although in some areas it will be difficult.”

At its annual Possible Dreams event last week, the Team Haverhill volunteer civic organization announced new goals for 2013-2014 that include an “Art Walk” for the trail. Team Haverhill members will work with city officials and the Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail, an advisory group appointed by the mayor, to add several top-quality permanent sculptures to the trail.

Fiorentini said one aspect of the design calls for lessening the grade of a pathway to make it easier to walk up to the Basiliere Bridge. That would allow anyone who wants to walk the trail to get onto the sidewalk and over the bridge, then walk the entire route down Merrimack Street, Washington Street, over the Comeau Bridge and onto the other end of the rail trail. This loop linking the Bradford and Haverhill sides of the river is intended to merge art, recreation and commerce, and create a desirable public attraction.

The mayor said he met last week with Gus Scrivanos, who operates several Dunkin’ Donut shops in the city including one on Middlesex Street, where the rail trail begins.

“We asked for an easement across the edge of his property so we could have a nice entrance there, and he was nice enough to agree to that,” Fiorentini said. “He plans to set up outdoor dining once the trail is improved. We want to have a number of entryways.”

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