By Gordon Dritschilo
The path is taking shape on the far side of the creek.
Organizers gave the Board of Aldermen a presentation this week on segment five of the Creek Path project, which will run between the Dorr Drive and Ripley bridges.
The project is being built from the ends to the middle. The first two segments run along East Creek from Earl Street to West Street. The fifth segment will connect to the fourth at the Meadow Street playground.
The third and middle segment, scheduled to be built last, will involve a bridge over the creek, expected to require significant fundraising — organizer Susan Schreibman has repeatedly said a benefactor interested in naming the bridge would be welcome to contact her.
Schreibman told the Board of Aldermen on Monday that organizers held a neighborhood meeting in early December, and the scope of the project was adjusted as a result. The new configuration includes a 250-foot boardwalk coming off the Dorr Drive bridge.
“It’ll cantilever over Otter Creek,” organizer Paul Gallo said. “You see a lot of people fishing there. I think there’s 200 or 300 geese that’ve stayed there year-round. I think there’s a lot of natural beauty we’ll capture.”
After that, an 8-foot path will run 2,200 feet along the southern side of Dorr Drive, ending at the entrance to the College of St. Joseph campus.
The path has become popular with runners, cyclists and walkers.
Segment four is fully funded and in the final right-of-way phase. For segment five, Schreibman said the city has $1.3 million in grant funding, and organizers are working to raise the local match. She said they stand ready to seek more grants as the engineering process refines cost estimates.