MassDOT announced today that construction has begun for the 1.2 mile extension of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail from Hoosac Street to Lime Street in the town of Adams.
The project has been uniquely designed to share the rail corridor with the town’s newly-restored Berkshire Scenic Railroad which is currently scheduled to resume service in May. Upon completion, passenger service along a rebuilt section of rail will extend down to the Adams Visitor Center alongside the newly constructed trail.
“I know from my ride on the Ashuwillticook last year what a wonderful resource this is,” said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. “MassDOT is investing in projects like this to provide residents and visitors with more options for walking and biking.”
The $2.2 million project will construct a bicycle and pedestrian trail extension north of the previously constructed Ashuwillticook Trail. The trail is located along the abandoned Boston and Albany Railroad and is approximately 5,954 feet in length, extending northerly from Hoosac Street to Lime Street. The work includes hot mix asphalt paving, clearing and grubbing, grading, fencing, pavement markings, drainage pipe replacement and repair, crosswalks, bicycle rail, installation of picnic tables and benches, signs, trees, shrubs, loaming, and mulching.
The existing 11 mile Ashuwillticook Rail Trail that runs from the Pittsfield/Lanesborough line to the Adams Visitor Center was originally constructed in two phases, completed in 2001 and 2004. Since that time, various planning efforts have been expended to extend this very popular rail trail further north and south. As a result of these planning efforts, there are at least three distinct projects that are actively on-going to extend the trail.
In addition to the current project, the town is also embarking on a design effort that would extend the rail trail an additional 1.8 miles further north to Hodges Cross Road in North Adams. This proposed extension is anticipated for construction within the next several years.
The City of Pittsfield is also currently designing a 1.5 mile extension of the rail trail south to Crane Avenue, with construction anticipated within the next two years.
When these three extensions are complete, the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail will be approximately 40% longer, providing wider access to the rail trail from Pittsfield, the county seat, and North Adams.
In 2015, MassDOT completed six multi-use trails/shared-use paths in the areas of East Boston, Revere, Framingham, Northampton/Hadley/Amherst, Somerville, and Worcester.
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