The hot topic of rail trails in Sudbury was given another jolt during the Jan. 14 Board of Selectmen meeting.
Andrew Sullivan, a French Road resident, asked the Board to reconsider the full-build design for the town's portion of the 25-mile Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and its portion of the Mass Central Rail Trail.
According to Sullivan, if Sudbury were to pursue a greenway option, both lines, which measure just over 9 miles, could be converted for $77,000, compared to the $250,000 it will cost in the design study alone for the Bruce Freeman trail.
"The metrics, timing and costs associated with those options are interesting to put side by side," he said. "We haven’t had an actual cost analysis on greenways."Sullivan said Iron Horse Preservation Society, a non-profit organization that specializes in converting rails to trails, could take over the projects for the reduced cost.
"This can be done through obtaining construction permits, or some type of long-term low-cost lease agreement," Sullivan said.
He asked to Board to consider the option when deciding on the trails. Conservation Coordinator Debbie Dineen also recommended a greenway trail last August.
"I don’t think building greenways in Sudbury doesn’t allow us to do something more substantial in the future," he said, "but it would be a wonderful first step to provide that recreational amenity in the near term and get quite a bit bang for the buck from a cost-benefit analysis standpoint. For $77,000 it seems you get an awful lot."
On Oct. 29, 2013, the Board voted for a full-build design for the town's portion of the 25-mile Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.
The Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail have offered put up $58,000 toward the study, but only for a full-build design.
"I ask that the Board stay flexible in considerations in north/south corridor and look at the greenway as interim option something citizens could enjoy right away vs. some undetermined time in the future
Chairman John Drobinski invited Sullivan to the Jan. 23 Town Forum, where the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail will be discussed.