Sanders at Rail Trail Groundbreaking

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt., July 19 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today took part in a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the long-awaited beginning of construction of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail along the right of way of the former Lamoille Valley Railroad.

“In the short term, construction of the trail will create jobs,” Sanders said. “Once built, the trail will be a huge attraction for tourists who come to Vermont in the winter to snowmobile or ski, or in the summer to bike and walk.  These tourists will stay in hotels and inns, eat in restaurants, visit other Vermont attractions and buy Vermont products,” Sanders said.

Sanders commended the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, which spearhead the project, for organizing a broad coalition of trail supporters including bikers, hikers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers, mushers and more.

Sanders secured a $5.2 million grant for the 93-mile trail from Swanton to St. Johnsbury. “I am proud I was able to secure funds that have become the core funding for the construction of the Rail Trail,” Sanders said.

An environmental review process last October cleared the way for the first phase of construction of the four-season, mixed-use trail.