A crowd of cycling enthusiasts, joggers and politicians marked the official completion of Riverhead Town’s 9.2-mile Vietnam Veterans Memorial Trail at the Enterprise Park at Calverton with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.
Construction of the paved, fenced-in trail, which runs along the former Grumman security perimeter, began in 2008, when the first 3.2 miles were finished, according to Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, a supporter of the trail.
Using state, county and town funds totaling $850,000, the remainder of the paved portion of the trail was completed earlier this year.
“It’s been a few years, but it was well worth the wait,” Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said.
Ms. Giglio said a third phase is also planned, which will add an additional four miles, to Wading River-Manor Road and back.
However, since that part of the property is located within the Pine Barrens core preservation area, which restricts development, a paved trail is not permitted there, Ms. Giglio said. Instead, it will be a “fat tire bike trail” that uses limestone, she said.
The town also wants to place veterans monuments for all armed service branches at various stops along the trail, and a solar-powered pump and tool station, she said.
The town’s alternative transportation committee met twice a month to plan the trail, originally proposed by Wading River resident Don Hawkins, who is still a committee member.
Ms. Jens-Smith said the trail would not have been possible without the committee’s work.