BELMONT — Land use technician Rick Ball said the Phase I-B archeological dig along sections of the proposed Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail will begin within the next two weeks.

He said the town had feared that because the project needed to have a historical and archeological examination, that the N.H. Department of Transportation would make the town wait to start until the beginning of the federal fiscal year, which is October 1.

"There are certain sections (of the proposed trail) that have peaked their interest," Ball said.

He said an archeological team from Louis Berger & Associates, which is the engineering firm designing the trail, will use on of their own divisions to dig about 90 test pits along the trail to look evidence of archeological and prehistoric artifacts.

The archeological exploration is yet another speed bump in the recreation trail that will connect Mosquito Bridge on the Belmont-Tilton border to the Laconia border.

Advance archeological studies for public works projects are not unusual in the Lakes Region. Archeologists typically look for significant evidence of American Indian and prehistoric activity.

At March town meeting, voters authorized the town to take matching grant money from a proposed Phase II and add it to the Phase I portion giving them enough money to complete that portion of the trail.

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