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concord-freeman-rail-trail-phase-2c-groundbreaking-july-2017Massachusetts Department of Transportation District 4 Highway Director Paul Stedman today joined other government officials and community and civic leaders to break ground on the next phase of construction for the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail – a non-motorized multi-use path in Concord.  Phase 2C involves the construction of a 2.5 mile section, from Commonwealth Avenue to Powder Mill Road in Concord. The construction for this phase is anticipated to be completed in two years. The cost of construction is $7.2 million.

“Trails open healthy new recreational and transit opportunities to residents and communities, providing access to open space and reducing carbon emissions by taking more cars off the road,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to partner with Concord and our municipal partners to make this trail, and others like it statewide, available for families and individuals across Massachusetts.”

Since 2015, under the Baker-Polito Administration, approximately 150 miles of new trail have been designed, planned, funded, and/or completed while prioritizing repair and rehabilitation and the build out of quality trail networks that address or close existing gaps, and further connect community destinations. The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is a multi-phased trail construction project that will extend approximately 25 miles connecting Lowell, Chelmsford, Westford, Carlisle, Acton, Concord, Sudbury, and Framingham.  The trail is named in memory of former State Representative Bruce Freeman.

“The Freeman Trail and paths across our Commonwealth contribute to stronger communities in which our families can live, work and play,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration will continue to work with cities and towns to enhance the opportunities available to pedestrians and bikers, and looks forward to making this important connection across eight communities, from Lowell to Framingham.”

“It’s rewarding to see another section of the Freeman Trail being built,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “This trail exemplifies what is possible when so many people coming together for the greater good – civic leaders, residents, business owners and state officials – all adding their voice and their support to make a project that benefits so many surrounding communities a reality.”

“MassDOT is pleased to begin work on Phase 2C – further extending south the already popular Bruce Freeman Rail Trail,” said District Highway Director Paul Stedman. “This next phase supports broader design and construction efforts currently underway and we are grateful for the collaboration of many officials and community members who are helping us during all phases of this important project.”

The trail construction project is divided into three phases, with each phase being developed by the communities through which the trail passes.  Phase 1, 6.8 miles in Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford, was completed in 2009, and construction is now progressing to Phase 2 of the project, which includes Phase 2C in Concord. Phase 2A, 4.9 miles in Westford, Carlisle and Acton, is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed at the start of spring 2018.  Phase 2B of the project, which will span Route 2 with a new bike/pedestrian bridge, is also currently funded and in design.  This section of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, from Commonwealth Avenue to the Acton town line, will be addressed as part of the future Concord Rotary project.

To further statewide efforts, the Baker-Polito Administration has brought together a dedicated team across the multiple transportation and environmental agencies that oversee the design, construction, funding and maintenance of improved or paved multi-use trails to work closely with municipalities to connect gaps between trails and to expand trail networks, including safety and accessibility enhancements and maintenance. The development of a state Shared Use Path Design Guide and State Bicycle Plan is underway and will help to align the mutual strategic vision and goals of improving trail policy, planning and investment.

Since 2015 under the Baker-Polito Administration, more than 20 major trail sections have been constructed throughout the Commonwealth, including the Neponset River Greenway, the Blackstone River Greenway, the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, the Charles River Greenway’s Braille Trail, and the Norwottuck Rail Trail.

 

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