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Holyoke Canal Walk Groundbreaking, June 16, 2014Governor Deval Patrick today joined officials from MassDOT and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs along with federal, state and local officials to break ground on improvements to the Holyoke Canal Walk. The $3.5 million investment in the Gateway City of Holyoke will connect pedestrians to historic Holyoke, the Holyoke Innovation District and Heritage State Park.

“Growth requires investment, and these investments in infrastructure will continue to spur economic development in Holyoke and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “The Canal Walk will improve the lives of the city’s residents now and for generations to come.”

This second phase of the Canal Walk project will create approximately 3,000 feet of additional pedestrian walkways around the Holyoke Canal to connect to Heritage State Park, a Department of Conservation and Recreation facility. The work includes rehabilitation of an previously unused railroad bridge for pedestrian use along with sidewalk improvements, benches, lookouts over the canal and lighting.

The Canal Walk and Heritage State Park are located in the midst of the Transit Oriented Design Project connecting the new Multimodal Transportation Center on Maple Street near Holyoke City Hall. A new train platform to be built on nearby Dwight Street will serve as the stop for Knowledge Corridor passenger rail service coming to the Connecticut River Valley by the end of 2014.

“The Canal Walk is one of many transportation investments in the Holyoke region, including the arrival of passenger rail along the Knowledge Corridor by the end of this year,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “We are working together with our partners in government, business, and the local community to bring new economy opportunity to Holyoke.”

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