Long Trail Bridge Over the Winooski Breaks Ground
Vt., September 16 – The Green Mountain Club today broke ground on a
suspension footbridge for the Long Trail over the Winooski River, an
effort 101 years in the making.  With permits and designs in hand, the
10,000 club which built and maintains the Long Trail celebrated this
historic milestone while continuing to ask Long Trail enthusiasts to
support the project.
is with great pride that I join in kicking off this historic project
for Vermont’s Long Trail,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin who joined the
celebration.  “The state has long enjoyed a strong partnership with the
Green Mountain Club in conserving and maintaining America’s oldest long
distance hiking trail. This footbridge continues this partnership by
linking, through the Long Trail, two of our state’s most iconic
mountains: Camels Hump and Mt. Mansfield.”
1912, legislation was introduced to build a bridge for the Long Trail
over the Winooski River in Bolton. In 1913, $500 was appropriated to the
project.  At the time, the club had just completed the first stretch of
trail from Smugglers Notch to the river.  Since then, 25 cent ferry
rides from a local farmer and long road walks have been the hallmarks of
crossing the Winooski River on the Long Trail.
am profoundly thankful to all of our Green Mountain Club members who
have volunteered their time, their ideas and their boots on the ground,
and, of course, their financial support to this important project,” said
Green Mountain Club President Jean Haigh.  “I’ve seen an enormous
amount work accomplished over the past years to reach this point and it
could not have happened without the encouragement and support of our
members and our staff. This is a major milestone in the history of the
Green Mountain Club and it is my hope that folks will continue to
provide for the project as we move forward. There is a lot more work to
be done.”
club has raised more than $1 million for this project and will utilize
more than $500,000 in state funding for land conservation and trail
work.  For the last three decades, the club and the state have worked
together to conserve more than 25,000 acres of high elevation forestland
for the Long Trail thanks to the leadership of former Gov. Howard Dean
and Sen. Dick Mazza, both of whom attended today’s event, and the late
Sen. Bob Gannett.
is a remarkably complex project and it’s frankly amazing it only took
101 years to see shovels in the ground,” said Will Wiquist, GMC
executive director.  “With a major river, an interstate, an active
railroad, a state highway and a town road all within a few hundred
yards, I am inspired by the work of our staff and volunteers to pull
this together and find a permanent corridor for the Long Trail to a spot
where we can build a footbridge. Soon we’ll be rid of three and a half
miles of road walking on the Long Trail.”
224’ suspension footbridge will be built by the Green Mountain Club
using designs produced by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. of Ferrisburgh. 
The club is seeking bids for major concrete and excavation aspects of
the project and has hired a firm to produce the steel towers.
club expects to make major progress on the project this fall.  After a
winter hiatus, the club expects to complete the project in 2014, opening
the bridge as part of the Long Trail next year.
club’s Long Trail Patrol has already begun work on relocation of the
Long Trail on GMC-conserved land north of the river.  The trail crew is
working to connect the bridge to Mt. Mansfield State Forest above Bolton
Valley, much of which was conserved by the club in partnership with the
Green Mountain Club thanked Gov. Shumlin and the state of Vermont for
their support.  They also thanked Gov. Dean, Sen. Mazza, Sen. Gannett
and others in Montpelier who have supported and continue to support Long
Trail Protection efforts; the town of Bolton; each and every one of the
club’s 10,000 members with special thanks to the Burlington and
Montpelier Sections of the Green Mountain Club who maintain the Long
Trail in the Winooski River Valley.
club also thanked Daan Zwick and all the generous supporters; Vanasse
Hangen Brustlin; New England Central Railroad; Sen. Patrick Leahy; the
Norwich University Civil Engineering Department; the Vermont Housing and
Conservation Board; Button Surveyors; Engineers Construction; TD Bank;
Kleinhans Construction and Welding; and current and past staff of the
GMC including Dave Hardy, Maisie Howard, Pete Antos-Ketcham, Susan Shea,
Ben Rose and Matt Wels, the bridge project manager and foreman, and his
crew, who will build this bridge.
Event photos available upon request.
Contact: Will Wiquist at (802) 241-8212