ATV club awarded grant

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ROXBURY – The Roxbury Riders ATV Club is pleased to announce it has received a Yamaha OHV Access Initiative Grant of $15,000. President Mike Worthley promptly transferred the full amount to the Snow-Valley Sno-Goers Snowmobile Club in the neighboring town of Andover.

The ATV Club applied for the grant in order to help the Sno-Goers with the monumental task of reconstructing a major bridge on ITS 82, a Shared Trail. Ken Gammon of Ken’s Yamaha in Oxford, Maine, wrote a letter of recommendation which was submitted with the grant application, and played a big part in the Roxbury Club receiving the Grant. Both clubs are grateful for his support.

On Jan. 5, the 140-foot suspension bridge collapsed and tumbled in a twisted pile into the Ellis River. Miraculously, no one was injured, but the void left both clubs with no choice but to access their trails via a narrow car bridge in close proximity. The car bridge is at the foot of a steep hill on a nearly ninety degree turn, creating an extremely unsafe situation for all. The Sno-Goers have applied for a $100,000 grant from the state’s Department of Conservation, but they are required to raise 20 percent of that amount in order to be eligible for the grant. The funds received from Yamaha will allow the two clubs to get the footings for the new bridge in place this fall, and if the state grant is awarded to the Sno-Goers, construction could begin early in the spring of 2009.

It should be noted that it is fortunate for both the ATV and snowmobile enthusiasts in the area of western Maine that the members of these two clubs can often be found working side by side on the trails they share, giving time, money and resources to numerous individuals and groups while striving to maintain good landowner relationships. Members of both organizations feel that if they can pool their resources and work together, everyone will benefit.

Work has already begun on replacing the bridge. The site has been cleared of all old debris. Operating from plans drawn by James Sysko of Newry, Jerry Bernier of Andre’s Construction dug out the towers that supported both ends of the old bridge, and cut the iron that was used to provide the supports for the planned new truss bridge. Over 1,000 linear feet of #6 rebar has been cut to specs and has been welded into mats to supply the reinforcement for the two concrete footings. Last week, Andre’

s Construction poured the concrete, supplied by Coleman Concrete of Bethel. Additional support beams were then welded between each of the two pair of main beams. The site has been back filled, seeded, hayed and left for the winter, ready for the next stage of the construction in the spring.

Harold Hutchins, who has spearheaded the project and is the trailmaster of the Andover Sno-Goers, said, “Thanks to Yamaha Corporation, Ken’s Yamaha, the overwhelming generosity of the Roxbury ATV Riders Club and the hard work and cooperation from the members of the Sno-Goers Club we have been able to complete the first stage of the bridge project on schedule. I’m hopeful we’ll have the necessary financial backing to begin actual construction of the bridge in the spring.”

David White and Jerry Bernier welding the rebar for the mats.

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