Work on the Phase VI of the Three Notch Trail in Mechanicsville could start this month.
A construction bid was awarded on Nov. 18 by the previous St. Mary’s County commissioners to build five miles of a hiking and biking trail in Mechanicsville. When that segment is complete, the Three Notch Trail will be 11 miles long from Laurel Grove to the Charles County line.
Area residents can expect to see survey crews along the right of way before any heavy construction begins, said Brian Loewe, director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks.
The Three Notch Trail project through Mechanicsville was over budget in August by $769,006, but other grants were secured and the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks moved money around to meet the low bid.
This section of trail will run from Route 5 to Route 236 in Mechanicsville and is closer to homes than other sections of the path. There will be buffers planted between the trail and homes, Loewe said. Immaculate Conception Church in Mechanicsville also has a foot bridge over a ravine between the hall and the church. That bridge is over the county’s right of way for the trail and will be removed, but the ravine will be filled in so people can walk across, Loewe said.
Phases VII, VIII & IX, from Wildewood to Baggett Park, - the middle of the trail - are planned for FY 15 and beyond, as funding permits. When finished the trail will be 28 miles long.
And there's an interesting issue that we don't deal with much here in the big city...
Former Commissioner Larry Jarboe (R) said in November wanted to make sure that horse-and-buggy traffic can use the new section of trail so it doesn’t have to mix with high-speed traffic on Route 5.
The buggies use the other parts of the trail already. “It’s saved lives over the last few years,” he said. “A little horse manure [along the trail] is a lot better than seeing a dead horse and driver and children on the road.”
Clearly horse-and-buggy traffic needs it's own roads, right Courtland?