SUTTON NH SNOWMOBILE CLUB PETITION TO APPROVE USE OF I-89 R.O.W. AND OPEN PRIMARY TRAIL390
This petition had 104 supporters
NH Snowmobile primary trail 390 has had a blockage since 2014 when a new landowner near Rt. 114 in Sutton denied the club permission to cross his property. This was a major blow to snowmobiling in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area as well as other snowmobilers throughout New Hampshire. Trail 390 is a vital snowmobile route as: it is the only north/south route that passes through Sutton, allows access to fuel in the town and connects to trails in the area leading to other restaurants and businesses in the area. In the winter, these businesses rely on snowmobilers for their livelihood and in turn generate a tax base that benefit all its residents. In order for any trail to go north or south across Sutton it must, at some point, go under I-89.
After extensive study, it was determined that the best solution was to use the previous route that goes under I-89 on Rt.114 and then go approximately 300 feet east on the I-89 northbound right-of-way (ROW). This is the safest as all other alternate I-89 underpasses would require snowmobiles to go onto the road surface. The current route uses the underpass on Rt. 114 with permission previously granted by N.H. D.O.T. Commissioner John A. Clements by letter dated January 19, 1978. State and Club funds were used to build and maintain elevated ramps parallel to Rt.114 and under the interstate and off the roadway. Other routes would require extensive effort requiring new land owner approvals and trail construction in addition to being unsafe.
In early 2015, The Town of Sutton Select Board gave their approval and continued support to the Sutton Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club to use the I-89 North bound highway ROW from Rt. 114 east bound to tax map property 08-831,019 for a snowmobile trail, provided that written permission is given by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and the property owner of tax map property 08-831,019.
On April 15, 2015, the Sutton Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club formally requested from the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails written permission, pursuant to RSA 236:56 II (b), to maintain and use a snowmobile trail in the ROW on the north side of Interstate I-89N starting on the east side of Rt.114 and extending further east approximately 300 feet to North Sutton tax map property 08-831-019.
The New Hampshire Bureau of Trails forwarded the Ridgerunner’s request with their endorsement and the required documentation to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has made a site inspection and made a verbal confirmation that this would not result in an unsafe trail condition. They, in turn, forwarded the request to the federal D.O.T. which owns the ROW easement. 17 months later the Sutton Ridgerunners are still awaiting written permission.
The undersigned strongly urge all state and federal authorities involved to approve the request to use the interstate right-of-way as requested as soon as possible in order to open primary trail 390 for use in the 2016-2017 winter.
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