SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- John Andrews had a dream. Sitting in a living room in Old Orchard Beach about 15 years ago, he shared his vision with other outdoor enthusiasts. He wanted to help build a 65 mile off-road trail between South Portland and Kittery using the defunct Eastern Rail Line wherever possible.
"It is hard to believe. All I wanted was a trail," stated Andrews, standing on a newly completed section of the trail. "Many people told us we were crazy, they didn't want us to waste their time talking about it, but the vision caught on and it has exploded, it really has."
Andrews was honored for his commitment to the project during a ceremony to celebrate a roughly 4.4 mile section of trail connecting Old Orchard Beach and Saco that was recently completed. A cornerstone of that new stretch of trail is a bridge over busy Route 1, which will be named in his honor.
"Without John's dedication for the last decade and a half, we wouldn't be standing here today," stated Bob Hamblen, president of the Eastern Trail Alliance. "There would be no Eastern Trail."
So far, about 20 miles of the trail have been completed, most in the South Portland area down through Saco and on towards Kennebunk. The trail is also part of the East Coast Greenway, which seeks to build a mixed use trail from Key West, Florida to Calais.
"For what we have done, nobody can possibly say that it can't be finished," said Andrews. "Many people said it couldn't be started. It will get finished, there is no question."