Phase 2B Bridges the Gap

Photo of Rt 2 Crossing for the Bruce Freeman Rail TrailWhile Phase 2A is near the end of its design, Phase 2B – primarily the crossing over Route 2 – is still in the preliminary (25%) design stage. Four bridge type selection reports have been submitted to MassDOT by consultant AECOM. They are for the bridge over Route 2, the bridge over Nashoba Brook (the ROW passes over Nashoba Brook just south of Route 2), retaining walls, and a wildlife tunnel.

These four items are the lion’s share of the Phase 2B work, and when the type selections are approved, finalization of the 25% design can be contemplated. Bridge review has gone slowly because of MassDOT resource constraints.

An application was submitted to the Concord Community Preservation Committee (CPC) by the Town’s Planning Division requesting $500,000 toward the 100% design of Phase 2B over Rt. 2, connecting Phase 2A in Acton with Phase 2C in Concord. If approved by the CPC, it would be voted at the spring Town Meeting. The State has identified (but not allocated) $200,000 toward this design effort. MassDOT Project Manager David Shedd indicated that $200,000 would not be a sufficient amount to complete this design, indicating that the required budget could be as much as $1 million. A much clearer estimate can be made with the completion of the Phase 2B 25% design.

The amount requested from the Concord CPC will provide some of the additional funds, and Acton is expected to contribute toward the design as well. Since Phase 2B has been listed in the TIP to receive construction funding in 2017, it is imperative to have design funding in place prior to that time.

This article along with several others about the trail status is from the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Fall 2013 Newsletter (pdf).