Trestle upgrade work begins. By Brenda Starkey, Ferry County VIEW
REPUBLIC – A project to put deck and railing on the old railroad trestle along the rail trail at the north end of Curlew Lake officially began Monday.
Goldline Construction, a local company owned by Grant Tolton, submitted the winning bid for the project in August. That bid for $163,919, was the lower of two bids and came in under the amount of grant funding reserved for the project.
The trestle project is phase one of the long-term development of the Ferry County Rail Trail and is the culmination of several years of collaborative effort between the county commissioners, their advisory board—the Rail Corridor Committee—and the local citizens group Ferry County Rail Trail Partners.
The project was made possible through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Enhancement Program which among other things provides funding for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, according to Keith Bell, RCC member.
The county was awarded $200,000 for this project.
Tolton said when he first heard of the project, there was a plan to put concrete on the deck and frame it in cyclone fencing, but he drew up a plan he felt was more esthetically pleasing. County Engineer Bob Breshears took Tolton’s design and engineered it.
The 770-foot-long trestle will be decked with material similar to the original construction of the trestle. A 10-foot-wide deck with wood railings will be constructed, and there will be two twin, cantilevered observation decks on each side of the trestle.
Tolton said these might be suitable for historical markers, and for people to observe the area and maybe drop a fishing line into the lake.
The deck will carry non-motorized traffic including bicycles and hikers, and will also be suitable for horses.
Stott’s Construction is a sub-contractor for the project and will work on the approach from the trail to the trestle. That work started Monday and should be complete this week.
Tolton said it is a 10-week project, but he is currently waiting on delivery of the timbers that will be used for the railing. Those are expected in early November. He said winter weather could also cause a delay, so the job is projected to be finished next spring.
All labor and materials will be local. Much of the lumber, which was purchased through Hall’s Lumber, has already been delivered to a staging area near Tolton’s West Curlew Lake Road office.
It will all be cut and drilled at the staging area before being installed on the trestle, he said.
Ferry County is the lead agency and Breshears and Public Works Director Troy Reynolds will be continuing to provide project oversight through the project’s completion, Bell said.
The trestle was originally built by the Great Northern Railroad then turned over to the Burlington Northern Railroad. It burned in 1979 or 1980 and was rebuilt in 1980 and 1981, he said.
“We are elated!” said Bob Whittaker, president of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners and a member of the county Rail Corridor Committee. “This ground breaking is another positive milestone for this trail.”
“We have won three major grants, one planning grant from the National Parks Rivers and Trails Assistance Program that helped us develop our community driven Concept Plan, and two separate $100,000 development grants," Whittaker said.
The grant funding allowed construction on the trestle project to start this week.
“It has taken time but it's important to remember all planning and construction must be in full compliance with grant stipulations. Many agencies must sign off on it all," Whittaker said.
One example of this is that there are culturally significant areas along this trail and we needed to be sure the Colville Confederated Tribes Historic Preservation Office signed off on our plans, he said. The CCT Historic Preservation Office was also a contributor to our Rail Trail Concept Plan.
FCRTP, RCC and the county will continue to seek additional funding to develop the trail as quickly as possible, Bell said.
FerryCounty's Rail-Trail Awarded A Second $100,000 Development Grant
Monday, March 25th. Republic WA
Ferry County's Rail-Trail Trestle Decking & Gravel Surfacing Project just got its second $100,000 boost - this time from a 2013 Federal Transportation Alternatives (TA) Grant, bringing the total Federal and State funds allocated to the project to $200,000.
The focus of the project is to rehabilitate the existing 770 foot railroad trestle across the north end of Curlew Lake by placing pressure treated timbers as a deck and also as railing along both sides. The project also places a stabilized crushed surfacing on the existing railroad grade from a parking area along the Kiwanis Road on the north end of the trestle to and for a mile and a quarter beyond the south end of the trestle as well as rebuilding the approaches to the trestle on each end. In response to the new grant County Engineer Bob Breshears wrote in his March project update that the new funds will allow the County to surface more of the trail south of the trestle. Specifically Breshears said “the additional funds will require a minor delay of the bidding of the project but should not prevent it from going to ad in April and getting the work done in early summer or late spring."
"We are excited the rail trail was granted another $100,000 for development and overjoyed to see that this trestle decking project is projected to be done this summer" said Ferry County' Rail Corridor Committee Chair Bobbi Weller. "This is the realization of a community vision and the result of hard work and proper planning that started with the help of the National Parks Rivers and Trails Assistance program." In 2010 Ferry County won the support of the National Parks Service's "Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance" program. This was a planning grant and RTCA staff provided the county with a wide range of technical assistance, including assessing resources, developing concept plans, engaging public participation, and identifying potential sources of funding for development of the former rail-bed that connects Republic to the Canadian Border.
Keith Bell of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners (a local 501c3) said "its wonderful to see how attractive this bicycle/pedestrian project is to these state and federal grant programs, we did our homework, completed the proper planning and its really paying off big for our community."
Rail Trail Ski Day draws over 100 participants
Ferry County Rail Trail Partners held their Third Annual Ski Day on Saturday, January 12 at the old rail car loading zone/trailhead just north of Curlew, Washington. Despite the coldest temperatures of the season over 100 participants enjoyed the sunny day and showed that this community event continues to grow every year.
Retired Forest Service Recreation Specialist Keith Wakefield is the lead organizer of the event and founder of N.E.W. (Northeast Washington Recreation). In addition to grooming the cross country and skate ski track for two miles north to the old railroad tunnel Keith also arranges for instructors from Spokane Parks & Recreation who bring a wide array of ski and snowshoe gear that gets heavy use by experienced users and beginners of all ages. Keith’s wife Susie Thiele checked equipment and assisted with fitting nonstop during the day. A special thanks goes to Bob Lattin who provided free snow plowing for the event.
Participants also had the opportunity to test out the new Hok skishoes developed by local ski legend Nils Larsen owner of Altai Skis. These innovative fat/short skis are very versatile and allow users to go anywhere there is snow. Check out the Altai Ski website.
Hot coffee, tea and cocoa as well as a variety of cookies and other treats were available throughout the day. Heaters were also available to help everyone warm up. More pictures: Click Here
National Park Service gives 'A Tip of the Hat' to...
Ferry County Rail Trail Partners
Thanks to the dedication of a volunteer friends group and other partners, communities in northeastern Washington State are closer to being connected by a resurfaced rail trail.
The 25-mile Ferry County Rail-Trail is a multi-use, non-motorized trail that connects rural communities as it follows a rail corridor north to the Canadian border. The trail showcases the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the county while providing a safe, fun, healthy recreation and transportation experience for residents and tourists. Read more: Click Here
Rail Trail Surfacing Grant Application Is In Top Ten
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) has announced the ranking order of projects for 2012's Washington Wildlife Recreation Program (WWRP). Ferry County's "rail trial surfacing project" placed seventh out of 20 state wide projects and was ranked number one over all in the public support and cost efficiencies categories.
Read more: Click Here
Final version of Rail-Trail Concept Plan released
A multi-use, non-motorized rail-trail that is a signature destination in FerryCounty
and highlights our cultural heritage and natural beauty, offering a fun, safe, healthy community connector as well as a first-rate recreational experience for the
enjoyment of both local residents and tourists.
Read more: Click Here
Enthusiastic Response from Community for Ferry County
Rail-Trail Survey Provides Valuable Input
An enthusiastic response from the public to a survey prepared by Ferry County’s Rail Corridor Committee (RCC) showcases that people primarily walk, bicycle, and cross-country ski along the 24.8 mile non-motorized Rail-Trail that runs from Republic’s West Herron Creek Road north to Danville near the Canadian border.
• Read the press release: Click Here
• See the numbers: Click Here
• See the pie-chart: Click Here
Benefit Auction of Ukulele raises $17,100
The auction of the ukulele signed by Pearl Jam’s front man Eddie Vedder ended Sunday night with a high bid of $17,100 USD. All proceeds from the auction will go to Ferry County Rail Trail Partners and will support the planning and development of the county’s 25-mile rail trial project.
Bob Whittaker, president of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners had these comments: “It's just fantastic! Developing this trail has become a priority for a community that finds itself in the midst of both an economic and a public health crisis. Without question a completed world class rail trail facility can be a big part of the long term solution specifically for these two issues”
“Funding this rail trail is a direct investment in our economic, social and environmental infrastructure as well as a way to preserve and communicate the amazing geological and cultural history of our area, this will have very very positive long term results for our region”
Ukulele story in Click Here
View the new full color map of the non-motorized and motorized sections of the rail trail and the Golden Tiger Pathway multi-use/motorized trail. This PDF file is suitable for printing on an 8.5x11 sheet. Click Here
Read the update on the rail trail surface while we work hard to improve the trial for ALL non-motorized user groups! Click Here
Special $25 Membership Drive.
Please consider making a donation to help with our mission. Lifetime membership = a one-time fee! (that’s cheap and no renewal to worry about, EVER!)
FCRTP is a federally recognized, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Click Here
Rail Corridor Committee Vision Statement
Ferry County’s Rail Corridor Committee (RCC) finalizes vision statement. Right on RCC!
"A multi-use non-motorized rail-trail that is a signature destination in Ferry County that highlights our cultural heritage and natural beauty, offering a fun, safe, healthy community connector as well as a first-rate recreational experience for the enjoyment of both local residents and tourists."
Ferry County Rail Trail Wins $100,000 Grant
Another milestone for the Ferry County Rail Trail was reached today when the Northeast Washington RTPO Policy Board awarded a $100,000 WSDOT Transportation Enhancement grant to the County.
The rest of the story in the : Click Here
Railways could become international bike trail
‘Railbanking’ saves transportation infrastructure
October 14th story by Rich Landers in
A portion of a railroad running from Grand Forks, British Columbia, to Kettle Falls, Wash., has been declared for sale or abandonment.
The rest of the story: Click Here
Ferry County Rail Trail now open to ALL muscle powered users!
Check out the revised interim trail ordinance: Click Here
Greetings Ferry County Rail Trail supporters!
Rail trail wins National Park Service support
Ferry County has won the support of the National Parks Service's "Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance" program, it was announced at the Washington State Trails Conference held October 22-23 in Tacoma . RTCA staff will provide the county with a wide range of technical assistance, including assessing resources, developing concept plans, engaging public participation, and identifying potential sources of funding for development of the 29-mile former railbed that connects Republic to the Canadian Border.
“I think this is very timely. Ferry County has a raw corridor on its hands, which needs to be transformed as fast as possible into a well-developed and thriving county asset. ” said Bob Whittaker, president of Ferry County Rail Trail Partners and member of the County Rail Corridor Committee. RTCA program manager Michael Linde said he was impressed with the 76 letters showing community support that were included with the application and went on to say Ferry County had broken the previous record.
Trail advocates foresee a day when an 80-mile international trail might run from Republic through Grand Forks to Kettle Falls . That vision moved a step closer to reality when the owner of the Kettle Falls International Railway declared the Canadian portion of the route up for sale or abandonment earlier in October.
Republic to Kettle Falls International Rail Trail in the news: “A portion of a railroad running from Grand Forks, B.C., to Kettle Falls, Wash., has been declared for sale or abandonment. While the action could cost the area jobs and raise freight transportation issues, it also opens the possibility of developing the nation’s first international rail trail.” Read full article: Click Here
Curlew Lake Trestle Decking: Ferry County hopes to win a Transportation Enhancement (TE) Grant to deck the 700+ foot trestle at the north end of Curlew Lake and add crushed rock to improve the trail along the lake. Keep checking this website for details.
ALL Muscle Power Allowed: Ferry County Commissioners modify interim rail trail ordinance to allow bikes, horses and all non-motorized users on rail corridor. NOTE: The tunnel and trestle are still closed to users due to safety issues. See the complete revised ordinance on our site. Click Here
Ferry County Rail Trail from the Air
Watch the videos and get a birds-eye view of the Ferry County Rail Trail.
Click on the links below.
Ferry County Rail Trail - Curlew Lake Click Here
Ferry County Rail Trail - Curlew to Danville Click Here
Other interesting rail trail information:
Click HERE to see a working horse-friendly Rail Trail video
Click HERE to see the FCRTP Safe Route to School presentation