06 – How much clearing would be required to construct the trail?
If built according to shared-use-path standards, the travel surface would be 10 feet wide with a two-foot shoulder on each side. The minimum distance between trees on opposite sides of the trail would be 16 feet. With few exceptions, the trunks of the large trees that provide the existing canopy over the rail bed are outside the 16-foot width. Therefore, the existing canopy would be largely left in place. Shared-use-path standards also require maintaining a cleared height of ten feet above the trail surface. The Town would review the engineering designs and other information to assess the degree of clearing that would be required and how such clearing may affect the adjacent environment. A walking path would require minimal clearing except near stream crossings where bridge construction would be done. Additional clearing would likely be required near the two bridge-construction sites at Hop Brook and Pantry Brook. Access for emergency vehicles on a shared-use path may require turnarounds that need additional cleared sections along the path. Additional clearing to accommodate construction equipment may also be necessary.