Jan. 17—The High Peaks Alliance in Farmington was awarded $2 million in federal funding to rebuild a bridge over the Sandy River that will connect into the 14-mile multiuse Whistle Stop Trail.
The funding will be used to support the construction of a 336-foot multiuse bridge that will connect Farmington with Jay via the 14-mile Whistle Stop Trail. It will be the longest recreational bridge of its type in Maine — just slightly longer than the pedestrian bridge over the Androscoggin River, according to the High Peaks Alliance.
"Rebuilding the Sandy River Bridge to connect the regional Whistle Stop Trail to downtown Farmington has been one of this region's biggest opportunities," said Brent West, the alliance's executive director. "Since a flood in the 1980s, there have been multiple attempts to rebuild this community resource. Through the collaboration of federal, state, town and private resources, we are finally able to move towards construction of the bridge."
The bridge also will connect to a year-old universal-access trail that is wheelchair accessible and runs along the Sandy River on land owned by the University of Maine at Farmington and the town of Farmington.
The Alliance was awarded $2,041,000 through the 2023 Fiscal Year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, which was supported by members of Maine's Congressional delegation.
The bridge will be owned and managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands as part of the Whistle Stop Trail.