Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of the Governor
Trail for cyclists, hikers, horseback riders set to be finished next year
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 13, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced the awarding of two contracts for the final phases of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail in eastern Kentucky – soon to be the longest trail of its kind in the Commonwealth.
One of the contracts awarded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is for the third and final phase – construction of 9 miles of trail from Carver Tunnel in Magoffin County to a point 1 mile south of Evanston in Breathitt County. Hinkle Environmental Services LLC was awarded the contract on a low bid of $1.71 million.
This article is shared (with permission) from a post from Adam Manns:
The Carver (Tip Top tunnel) is an abandoned railroad tunnel approximate 1,500 feet in length & located on the boundary between Magoffin & Breathitt counties..With the northern portal in southern Magoffin county,and the southern portal in eastern Breathitt county.The tunnel was approximately 25 feet tall by 25 feet wide,constructed in the late 1940’s & was lined with steel sets & timber lagging.In 2009 the tunnel burned,damaging the rock roof,timber lagging & steel sets.Berms comprised of soil & rocks were pushed up into the tunnel portals to block the ends of the tunnel from unauthorized access.An assessment performed in the Summer of 2014 indicates there is significant debris within the tunnel resulting from fire & subsequent roof falls.photographs of the portals & interior of the tunnel are attached to this note below.
The tunnel is part of an abandoned railroad line which is to be converted to a pedestrian,equine & mountain bike corridor as part of the “Rails to Trails” program of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet..This project will involve scaling of loose material from above the portals,the cleaning out of debris (both rock & original liner) from within the tunnel & stabilizing the roof of the tunnel with rock anchors & welded mesh.Loose rock material from within the tunnel will be reused to the extent practical to construct the trail bed within the tunnel.All work will be performed from the North portal.This project will also require the installation of electric lighting within the tunnel,the construction of wooden canopies at the North & South portals,and the construction of approximately 2,000 feet of pedestrian trail on the abandoned railroad bed leading to the North tunnel portal.
Dawkins Trail – Tip Top Tunnel Rehabilitation
Thursday, June 18th saw the monthly meeting of the Friends group. Guest speaker Edith Conyers addressed the group to discuss organizing a fall carriage ride on the trail. Anyone interested in participating in the ride should contact us. Tentative dates are being looked at, possibly around October with a spring ride planned as well.
Membership fees were also agreed upon. To become a member, visit the Membership page. Memberships are annual, to be collected every January. The fees will go toward helping maintain the trail and support events.
The Next regular meeting is scheduled for July 16th at 6:00 PM at the Salyersville City Hall. This meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome.
The Friends of Dawkins Line Rail Trail will be holding their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 18th at 6:00 PM at the Salyersville City Hall. Everyone is invited. For more informaiton, contact the Friends here.
The Kentucky Parks Service have installed two new restroom facilities on the Dawkins Line Rail Trail, This one, pictured, was installed at the Jenny’s Creek Trail Head, and the other was installed at the Royalton Trail Head, along with a bike rack fabricated by the Magoffin County Career & Technical Center.