The need for the connector became apparent after the two recreation trails in Newburyport and Salisbury drew heavy use. Given the fast-moving traffic on and off the Gillis Bridge in both directions, safety soon became an issue for those wanting to cross Route 1 in Salisbury at the foot of the bridge to connect with rail trail in Newburyport.
Once the connector is completed, those using the trail in Newburyport will be able to travel south over the Gillis Bridge and at its end, make a right-hand U-turn just before First Street by Striper’s Restaurant and proceed down the embankment. From there, they will be able to travel under the Gillis Bridge to the other side on 8-foot-wide paved surfaces, go up the embankment on the west side of the bridge, travel north a bit and then take a left into Friedenfels Road, to the path proceeding to the head of the Old Eastern Marsh Trail.
With the addition of the murals, not only will trail users be safe, they’ll learn a lot about the Salisbury community over the years.