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Framingham, Governor Patrick, Cochituate Trail, May 15, 2014Governor Deval Patrick today joined MassDOT Highway Division Administrator Frank DePaola, federal, state and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Cochituate Rail Trail in Framingham.

The 1.4 mile Cochituate Rail Trail along abandoned railroad right-of-way will extend from School Street to Route 30 at the Natick Town line and connect a proposed residential development, the Natick Collection, TJX Corporate headquarters driveways and two MetroWest Regional Transit Authority bus routes. The $1.06 million project is funded by the federal Surface Transportation Program with matching state funds made available by legislative approval and Governor Patrick’s signing in April of the 2014 Transportation Bond Bill to invest in road, bridge, transit, trail and other critical transportation projects across the Commonwealth.

Today’s groundbreaking for the multi-use trail occurs as Massachusetts celebrates Bay State Bike Week, Saturday, May 10 through Sunday, May 18, a nationally-recognized statewide event to encourage bicycling as a fun, healthy, safe, and sustainable travel choice.

“By connecting homes with business, retail and transit, the Cochituate Trail will provide a healthy option that boosts economic growth and enhances quality of life,” said Governor Patrick.

“It is fitting that we celebrate this multi-use trail during our extremely successful Bike Week celebration,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “We are demonstrating once again our commitment to a statewide goal of tripling the share of travel by bicycling, transit and walking and to our “Complete Streets” approach to accommodate all transportation system users.”

The Town of Framingham has completed grading and sewer installation along the trail. The contractor for the Cochituate Rail Trail project is Century Paving and Construction Corp. of Fall River. The final work includes paving of the trail along with sidewalk construction, curbing, fences, bollards, benches, guard rail, landscaping and at-grade warning beacons.  The trail will be ADA accessible.  Completion of the project is scheduled for April 2015.

The Cochituate Rail Trail project reflects MassDOT’s GreenDOT initiative to incorporate sustainability into all activities, from strategic planning to project design and construction to system operation. The initiative includes greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Patrick in 2008. This law requires an economy-wide 2020 emissions reduction mandate of between 10 and 25 percent toward a required 80 percent reduction by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.

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