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New Pedestrian Bridges and Trails in Riverside Park

Riverside Park is a small DCR property located mostly in Weston, between the Riverside MBTA station and the Martin Golf Course. For many years, the two pedestrian bridges that crossed the Charles from the park into Newton were closed due to their unsafe condition.

DCR received funding from the state's Accelerated Bridge Program to replace the two decaying bridges. The new upstream bridge opened in 2013. The downstream bridge is scheduled for reconstruction as part of a much larger project involving the I-95 and I-90 highway bridges, which is scheduled for completion around 2020.

These bridges could be links in a network of hiking trails connecting Auburndale, the Riverside development, and Newton Lower Falls. An article on Village 14 discusses this idea. The route is also a link in a proposed Boston Greenbelt Trail. This map shows existing and proposed trails in the area.

The new upstream bridge is a link in a three to four-mile loop trail around Riverside Park and the Leo J. Martin Golf course. A winter route walks on the golf course in some places. An all-year route avoids the golf course.

 
The old upstream bridge in 2011.   The new bridge built in 2013.
     
 
The downstream bridge is scheduled for future reconstruction.
     
 
Meanwhile, MWRA has paved and landscaped a nice path through their deep rock tunnel access site, the location of a major water main break in 2010. The path connects Riverside Park to the downstream bridge.   On the Newton side, it was possible until recently to walk from one bridge to the other using an underpass below the MBTA Framingham line. Because of the poor condition of the underpass, the MBTA closed off access to it in 2016.

If the underpass is restored and the downstream bridge rebuilt, it will be possible to walk a loop trail beginning at Charles Street and Riverside Road in Newton, crossing one bridge into Weston, and returning to Newton on the other bridge. This map shows current and possible trails in the area.
     
 
After crossing into Newton on the upstream bridge, a walker can turn right onto a path that goes for a quarter mile along the Charles.
     
 
The path ends at this old railroad bridge. Future trail development will follow the abandoned rail line to the southwest to connect with the pedestrian bridge across the Charles in Newton Lower Falls. In the meantime, it is possible to walk a loop in this area using a combination of streets and unimproved trails.   The bridge at the end of the current trail is at the edge of the Riverside MBTA Yard. Plans for construction of The Station at Riverside mention the "potential" for walkways connecting the development to Riverside Park.
     
 
     

 

 

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