VHB Surface Questions.V2
  • VHB reported that both stone dust and stabilized surface trails were recently approved by Mass Highway. Can you tell us where, and in the case of stabilized material what brand was used?
  • Your surface comparisons included 'gravel'. Can you tell us where there are Mass Highway funded gravel multi-use paths?
  • Arsenic and other toxins are almost always present in rail beds. You confirmed it is present on the Minuteman extension. Do the different surface choices affect how the contaminants are contained or treated, or the risk to the environment?
  • Does a non-permeable surface help prevent the leaching of the arsenic into the environment more than a permeable one?
  • The following questions relate to Table 1 (Maintenance requirements):
    • All the 'initial construction' costs are only for the surfacing, i.e., they do not include the one-time cost for the sub-surface construction which is the same for all the surfaces. True?
    • Are the costs shown based on a per mile basis or for the entire 2 mile trail?
    • What was the assumed unit cost for asphalt?
    • Which type of 'stabilized soil' surface was assumed for the comparison, where has it been used in New England, and when was it installed?
    • For the different surfaces, is it assumed that the replacement cost at the lifetime intervals is the same as the initial installation, or is there a savings involved with the reuse of old materials? If so, what are the estimated savings?
    • Mass Highway funding will provide the bulk of the initial construction costs, but the Town is responsible for all future maintenance. Is it correct to say, based on the numbers in the Table (and assuming they are based on 2 miles), that maintenance costs incurred by the Town over 12 years are estimated to be:
      • $20K Asphalt
      • $175K Stabilized Soil
      • $222.6K Stone Dust
  • Using the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization user count surveys for the Minuteman rail trail, the expected potential users of the Minuteman Extension would be of all ages and include:
    • in-line skaters
    • wheel chair
    • walkers, joggers
    • all varieties of bikes (kids,3-wheel, tandem, road, mtn, tag-along)
    • push scooters
    • baby stroller
    • bike commuters (some all-weather)

In addition, Bedford has started a "Safe Routes To School" program to promote walking, in-line skating, biking, etc. to school. Assuming that expected user range, and given the State Design guide requirement that states "Shared use paths should be designed to meet the needs of the widest possible range of users, including people with disabilities.", which surfaces meet that requirement and have a proven record in New England weather?

  • Part of the maintenance for stone dust and stabilized soil surface trails normally includes weed/grass control to prevent the trail from being grown over (for example, as happens on the Minuteman National Park, Carlisle Town, and Bedford Narrow Gauge trails). Is there an herbicide that can be used near environmentally protected areas to prevent this growth? If so how often does it have to be applied and was it included in the maintenance costs in Table 1?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License