Phase 2 Update Concord

Two portions of Phase 2 of the rail trail are entirely or mostly in Concord: the crossing of Route 2 from Acton to Concord (Phase 2B) and the main portion of the trail through West Concord to the Concord/Sudbury town line (Phase 2C). Concord’s 25% design for Phase 2C was approved at Town Meeting in April 2008 and has been approved by the state. By vote of Town Meeting, the surface of the trail will be asphalt and the culvert under Powder Mill Road will be replaced. The Town and the Town’s BFRT Advisory Committee have continued to work on furthering the design.

The current design through West Concord center follows an unused railroad spur, crosses the MBTA commuter train tracks at the existing pedestrian crossing on Commonwealth Avenue, and requires cyclists to walk their bikes on the sidewalk before rejoining the trail near Route 62 (Main Street). However the Town has been continuing discussions with the MBTA to allow the trail to remain on the original right of way and cross the tracks near the West Concord Depot. A design firm was contracted to prepare sketch drawings to show that this would be a feasible option. If the MBTA allows this change to the design, the trail would pass through the newly renovated Junction Park.

Although funding is available to continue the design through 100%, discrepancies in the survey must be resolved before the contractors, GPI, can continue this work.

Phase 2B involves a bridge over Route 2 following the original right of way. After several public meetings and discussions with officials from both Acton and Concord, it was decided to build the bridge to follow the original right of way. The option of building a shorter span perpendicular to Route 2 was rejected because of environmental concerns to the adjacent wetlands.The firm AECOM is currently working on the 25% design of this section.

The Town’s BFRT Advisory Committee meets monthly, usually on the first Thursday of each month at 8 am. Observers are welcome and are encouraged to check the Town calendar for any changes in the meeting schedule.