November 2012 Update | Phase 2 Westford, Carlisle, Acton

In late October 2012 the 75% design plans for Phase 2A (Westford, Carlisle, and Acton), thus adhering to the schedule for the project to be advertised for construction in fiscal year 2014. The bulk of the work was completed by engineering consultant GPI with project management by Roland Bartl Acton’s Planning Director and David Shedd of MassDOT. Formally, design plans were submitted from Acton as lead town to the MassDOT for approval. In between there was a lot of interaction between and among the Towns, MassDOT, and GPI. While the vast majority of Phase 2A will be in Acton (over 4 of the 4.88 miles), there is significant and ongoing interaction with Carlisle and Westford (e.g., questions regarding wetlands, parking and the Route 225 and 27 intersection).

For context the 25% design was completed in 2008 (for detail see, 17MB). Since then funds needed to be procured to complete the design (2010), and then a design consultant was selected in a competitive bid process (a long process in itself) and before work could commence terms and conditions with GPI had to be worked out and coordinated. The next major step was the submittal of the 75% design plans. This begs the question, what does 75% design mean?

Well, first to put 75% design in context from the MassDOT website. Typical milestones in the design process include: submission and approval of the 25% design plans, a public hearing on the 25% design, submission and approval of the 75% design plans, submission and approval of the 100% design plans, and preparation of the plans, specifications and estimates (PSE). Concurrent with this process, right-of-way must be acquired and environmental requirements must be satisfied. The 25% design included a submission which MassDOT evaluates the proposed design relative to current design standards, right of way impacts, environmental impacts and other potential community concerns associated with the proposed design.

Given that background, the 75% highway design review allows MassDOT’s Highway Division to ensure that all comments from the 25% review have been addressed. It is also an opportunity to make certain that the plans and special provisions provide sufficient information to bid and construct the project. Further, the 75% design submittal to MassDOT should include: responses to all comments from the 25% review, plans which are 90% complete, cross-sections, special provisions and estimate (including non-participating items).

Phase 2A 75% design plans are now available for review. There are no plans for a public hearing associated with these submittals, because there are no major changes in the trail design, primarily the 75% design is just a lot more detail than the 25% design submittal.

Nonetheless, you can review a hardcopy of the 75% design plans at:
Pedal Power 176 Great Road (Route 2A) Acton, MA
Acton Planning Department, 472 Main Street, 1st Floor, Acton, MA 01720,
or download the 75% design plan PDF (23MB).

Related documents:
BFRT Phase 2A 75% Design – submission (PDF)

BRFT Phase 2A 75% Design – Special Provisions Document (PDF)

BFRT Phase 2A 75% Design – Estimate (PDF)

Please send any comments to, and we will pass them on to the appropriate parties. Or you can send them directly to Roland Bartl – the Towns’ Planning Director,, if you don’t want the FBFRT to get between you and your comments (though we would appreciate being cced).