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image003-4Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, local leaders in Acton and community members came together today for the grand opening of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Phase 2A segment, an approximately 5 mile path which is the latest segment to open of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.  Following a $10.3 million construction project, this segment is now open to the public for anyone who is bicycling, walking, jogging, or using other forms of active transportation.

 

“Projects like the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail are building crucial links within our communities for active transportation options,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Investments in rail trails and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure will provide residents across the Commonwealth with a stronger transportation network and more opportunities to enjoy Massachusetts’ scenic natural resources.”

“We are proud to continue investing in multimodal infrastructure in our cities and towns and enabling people of all ages and abilities to use our transportation network for travel and recreation,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “The completion of this phase of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail will allow people to enjoy this area’s natural beauty while traveling to destinations throughout their local communities.”

The Phase 2A section of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail begins at the end of Phase 1 section in Westford and continues through Carlisle and Acton. The full length of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail will follow the 25 mile route of the old New Haven Railroad Framingham and Lowell line through the communities of Lowell, Chelmsford, Westford, Carlisle, Acton, Concord, Sudbury, and Framingham.

“Under the leadership of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT is continuing to work closely with municipal and elected officials to strengthen our transportation system in ways that promote active, multimodal travel,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This project is important not only because of what it creates, but what it does – provides people more opportunities to ride, run, and walk throughout their community whether they are out to exercise or use the path to get between destinations such as stores, schools or where they may work.”

“We are pleased to see the completion of this phase of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail project,” said Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We thank the hardworking crew members who helped complete our construction operations and enhance the opportunities for multimodal travel throughout this area so people can better enjoy our natural environment.”

“The opening of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail serves as a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to conserving and enhancing the Commonwealth’s natural resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The state’s vast network of trails offers many benefits to our daily lives, such as providing a high level of access to the natural world, ensuring recreational opportunities, and connecting communities and regions.”

In August 2009, Phase 1 of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail was completed. Other ongoing phases of work include Phase 2B that is currently in the design stage, Phase 2C that is under construction and expected to be completed in spring 2019, and Phase 2D that is also in the design stage.

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has constructed or funded 150 miles of paved trails, adding to the current statewide inventory of 565 miles of paved trails. Over 30 miles of trails spanning over a dozen projects are currently expected to be completed across the Commonwealth in 2018.

In 2017, Governor Baker established an Interagency Trails Team which is led by the Governor’s office and is comprised of staff from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The purpose of the team is to help develop a unified vision for a trails network and translate that into strategic investments, policy innovation to facilitate development of trails, and an enhanced relationship with municipal partners.

MassDOT’s 5-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) sets aside $160 million for multi-use pathways as well as $60 million for high-priority projects through the statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Plans that are currently being completed. Other efforts to strengthen multimodal transportation include the Administration’s Complete Streets Funding Program, which has awarded over $23 million to municipalities throughout the Commonwealth to build pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.

For more information on each phase of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail project, please follow this link: http://brucefreemanrailtrail.org/.

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