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Roughly half of Lamoille Valley Rail Trail reopens after flood damage

 A wooden bridge over a river is snapped at an angle, and the gap is filled with trees and other debris
Vermont Agency of Transportation
The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is damaged at a bridge over the Lamoille River in Hardwick, photographed July 14.

Roughly half of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail has been reopened for public use, the Vermont Agency of Transportation said.

But Gov. Phil Scott said it could take until next year to fully restore the 93-mile recreation path that runs from St. Johnsbury to Swanton.

Scott said damage to the trail caused by recent flooding has dealt a setback to a major economic development initiative.

"It’s difficult for the communities that were really counting on this to tie them together for their economic development," Scott said.

The state spent more than $30 million to build the trail, and many local businesses had been counting on revenue from cyclists and hikers.

The reopened sections total 49.8 miles — the 30.3-mile section from Swanton to Cambridge Junction, and the 19.5 miles from St. Johnsbury to Walden.

The 43.2 miles of the rail trail between Cambridge and Walden remain closed until further notice.

Heavier types of damage include bridge washouts, complete culvert washouts, and severe slope failures that are blocking the trail or have washed out the trail altogether.


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The Vermont Statehouse is often called the people’s house. I am your eyes and ears there. I keep a close eye on how legislation could affect your life; I also regularly speak to the people who write that legislation.
Julia Tanier was a News Intern during summer 2023.
Corey Dockser is Vermont Public’s first data journalist, a role combining programming and journalism to produce stories that would otherwise go unheard. His work ranges from complex interactive visualizations to simple web scraping and data cleaning. Corey graduated from Northeastern University in 2022 with a BS in data science and journalism. He previously worked at The Buffalo News in Buffalo, New York as a Dow Jones News Fund Data Journalism intern, and at The Boston Globe.
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