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April 2011 update

Newton Lower Falls Rail-to-Trail Greenway Update

The conversion of the old former rail corridor and bridge over the Charles River at Newton Lower Falls into a pedestrian path is nearly complete. The bridge has been de-leaded and the decking and railings installed, as you can see in the image taken this spring. The pathway, stretching between Concord Street in Newton and Washington Street in Wellesley, will be finished and accessible this spring. We look forward to residents and visitors enjoying a pleasant stroll to the river and over the bridge for shopping and services in Wellesley.

As people come to appreciate the trail, I'm sure that neighbors in the Lower Falls community will be interested in extending the greenway trail over the entire length of this former rail corridor stretching all the way to the Riverside MBTA station. This would further enhance walking and bicycling recreation, as well as offer car-free access to public transportation.

This project was accomplished through the efforts of a coalition of community groups, including the Newton Conservators, along with the Newton Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission, and the Charles River Watershed Association. We collaborated with the DCR to contribute money toward completion of the bridge design, to provide input to the pathway, and to promote funding the project under the state's Accelerated Bridges Program.

The success of other local rail trails, such as the Minuteman in Lexington, has shown the dramatic improvements in recreational opportunities and increases in neighborhood value that result. Having a local human-friendly greenway trail and access to open spaces will benefit neighborhood health, personal interaction, and relaxation. I look forward to our continued collaboration on advancing additional rail trail projects in Newton during the very near future. Thanks!

George Kirby
Chair, Newton Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force

more information on the proposal

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