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Students and community members begin work on Hartford trail

Nov 20, 2017   |   The Dartmouth

"Five students enrolled in Engineering Sciences 89, 'Engineering Design Methodology and Project Initiation' have started engineering work on a project to build a walking trail connecting the Latham Works Lane neighborhood with downtown White River Junction," writes The Dartmouth. "ENGS 89 and ENGS 90 are the first and second unit of a two-term course sequence, respectively.

"Jessica Link ’17 Th’18, who is enrolled in ENGS 89, said students taking the course every year collaborate with communities in the Upper Valley on projects. Since the start of this term, Link said she and her classmates have been working with community organizer Cat Buxton to come up with an engineered design plan for the proposed trail.

"According to Link, her group has spent a lot of time mapping surfaces to help reduce flood risk of the trail.

"'We are doing a lot of mapping ... and seeing if the amount of runoff that would come from an intense rainstorm would ruin that trail, cause erosion,' Link said.

"Eliza Hoffman ’17 Th’18, who is also taking ENGS 89, said the engineering students have been actively conducting field work for the project.

"'We are doing surveying of the riverbed to essentially creating a hydrological model, so we can look at the river flow at different points in the year and different frequencies of flow,' Hoffman said. 'We have had beautiful weather to get out there, so that has been nice.'

"Link said she hopes the engineering design plan can give the White River Junction community a good start on constructing the trail within the next few years.

"In addition, Hoffman said this project will help her group gain hands-on experience in what they have been learning in the classroom, which she believes is very important.

"'It is a very real-world kind of situation, we are consulting for our client, who in this case is a community group,' Hoffman said. 'Gaining that relevant work experience before we graduate is really important.'"

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