While Portland was working on its phase 1 section of the Air Line Trail, completed in 2017, East Hampton was planning to extend its part of the trail westward to connect with the Portland segment. East Hampton completed that extension in 2018, except for a 1200 foot gap that could not be constructed due to the presence of wetlands—actually a stream runs through a narrow gorge. Also, Eversource utility poles occupy that same gorge. A decision was made to construct a boardwalk trail over the wetland, but that plan required the utility poles to be moved first.
After several years of off and on discussions between the Town of East Hampton, DEEP (The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection), and Eversource, it appears that a plan to move the poles and “complete the gap” is now emerging. Though the details are tentative or incomplete at this point, the parties seem to have made significant progress toward an agreement that will result in Eversource relocating the poles and transmission line onto town property at East Hampton’s Water Pollution Control Authority. We hope that that work can be completed in 2021.
In the meantime, phase 2 of Portland’s Air Line Trail has been designed and awaits a funding opportunity for construction.
The Jonah Center will continue to keep the public informed as new developments emerge.