By Katy Savage
RUTLAND— Plans to complete the City Creek Path are underway.
The City Creek Path has been 10 years in the making. Once completed, it will be a paved, handicapped-accessible path that connects Giorgetti Park to the College of Saint Joseph.
A new 0.3-mile segment, known as Segment 4 of the total 2.1 mile trail, is going out to bid this summer while another 0.5-mile segment, called Segment 5, is in the engineering phase.
The path is broken into five segments to allow time for funding and project approval. Segments 1 and 2 are done while Segment 3 will be last.
“We as a city have supported their efforts right along,” said Rutland City Mayor David Allaire. “It’s a tremendous draw not only for recreational purposes and tourists to come in but it’s also an enhancement for the community itself.”
Getting the project to the finish line has been a slow process due to the number of approvals and funding needed by the state and local officials.
“Although it might not seem like it to the public, it’s steadily moving,” said Susan Schreibman, one of the organizers behind the trail.
The project started with a $125,000 grant from a town fund. The project managers have received $2.5 million in state and federal funds plus another $500,000 from donations.
The organizers say Segment 4 will cost $250,000 to $300,000 to construct with engineering.
“There’s a need (for this trail). We can’t hide from the fact that obesity in Rutland County is high. This is a way of getting folks to be more active,” said Paul Gallo, who is overseeing the project with Schreibman.
This project is one of several initiatives underway to enhance recreation in Rutland.
A proposal to reduce the number of lanes on Route 4 from four to three to create a bike lane between West Rutland and Rutland failed in a 3-2 vote May 29 by the Rutland Town Select Board.
Gallo expects the City Creek Path to be done in the next four to six years.
Schreibman, who formerly worked with the Regional Planning Commission, is proud of what’s been done so far.
“This is exactly what we hoped for and envisioned. It’s a beautiful path for the city,” she said.