Route 10 Bike Bridge Open for Business

What a great day for biking in Western Massachusetts!

[Revised – new photos and video, 11/9/10]

Bridge across MA Route 10 - open for business.

Thanks to posts on the MassBike Pioneer Valley email group, I found out that the Manhan Rail Trail Bridge over Massachusetts Route 10 between Easthampton, MA and Northampton, MA is now open!

This bridge completion means you can now ride on trails from the Amherst-Belchertown town line, through Hadley, across the Connecticut River into and through Northampton along the Norwottuck Rail Trail, and through Easthampton to the Southampton line on the Manhan Rail Trail. The opening of the bridge truly moves the Manhan Rail Trail and the Norwottuck Rail Trail and their connector bike path routes into the big time. This is a transformative project, meaning biking tourism, family biking, bike commuting, walking/hiking becomes an even larger part of our regional identity and attraction.

I jumped on my bike and rode right over with the camera.  My last ride over to check on the progress of the Route 10 bridge project showed new railings and paving but the bridge was not quite ready for crossing. So I was quite excited to see with my own eyes that the bridge was open.

On the way to bridge, I noticed there were new stone benches placed along the sides and the construction barriers were piled up ready for collection.

Very promising. Then I saw the entrance to the bridge itself – no keep-away-construction-zone fencing, fresh paving.

Open!

Video of my ride after the jump.

I saw plenty of people riding and walking the path on this cloudy and cold afternoon – all with huge grins, excited about the bridge finally being open. As the opening has not been officially announced, I can only imagine how many people will be using it once word gets out. Northampton the cycling mecca and envy of cyclo-tourists just got a lot better.

Here’s a video of my ride across the bridge.

There’s a whole lot of joy coming to the Pioneer Valley from cyclists looking to ride on beautiful rail trails in lovely settings. Welcome to Paradise City.

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About Pedal Paradise

Cyclist, Mom, Travel Nut, Bike Riding Empower-er!
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6 Responses to Route 10 Bike Bridge Open for Business

  1. Thank You Gina!

    I think your husband has a great jewel in you.

    I have been not able to ride much since my horrific bicycle accident in August of 2009. Then when I did get on a folding bicycle this July, my first time since last August, I rode around for a few miles joyfully and then went to go over the rail road tracks to the Springfield bicycle trail (which basically goes nowhere and nothing but exercise can be accomplished on it, outside of watching the trains go underneath the bridge there) and I was looking for the rail road crossing lights, which did not seem to be there but their black posts were. A child waved at me and I waved back, that is when my tire hit a hole where people needed the bricks between the rail path more than the need for them there, so they were gone. The bicycle folded and I was sent flying again. My arms stretched out to break my fall and although I was going very slowly the doctor took x-rays to see if there was breakage as there was great pain for a week or so. Now I lay in pain stretched across two railroad tracks wondering what next. I heard a whhooo-oooo and turned my head to the right to see a train coming at me about 25-40 feet away. I rolled over with the adrenaline I had pumping in me at that time and grabbed a corner of the folding bicycle and pulled it and myself back two or three feet and waved at the engineer. I have not been on a bicycle since and my arms still hurt and I have to correct everything I type as the fingers do not always hit the right keys in the right order.
    BUT I AM STILL ALIVE !!!

    So I thank you for taking this video for me. Did you have a helmet mounted camera or did you use a cell phone or how did you make the video?

    Again Thank You.

    I felt like I was on a bicycle again. I can almost feel the wind going into my helmet and against my hair and the greetings of pedestrians and bicyclists as we greet each other.

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

    Sincerely,

    Charlie Knight,
    32 Byers Street # 101,
    Springfield, MA 01105-`1221

    (413) 732-7077

    PS
    You husband does not need to worry about me, I am going to be 66 if I live through tomorrow, and so I am no threat to anyone. Hence I sort of passionately love and appreciate every woman I find that is doing something very good, as you are in supporting bicycle transportation.

    We have advocated down here for a long time and now every PVTA bus has a bike rack on it. I am so happy.

    Now to get this body to heal and the fingers to work right so I can ride a bicycle again.

    PPS
    Could you give me permission to either put onto my website or better yet to link to yours, this video so others can benefit from seeing the bridge open and vicariously ride across it.

    • Charles,

      I’m very glad you liked the video of my ride across the Rte 10 bridge. I was just beside myself that the bridge was open. The Manhan Rail Trail and the Norwottuck together are so wonderful to ride. I hope you recover soon so that you can be on them yourself!

      I would appreciate a link to my site – that would be the best. I think people are going to love riding on this new section of bike paths, so please do share this information. Thank you for stopping by.

      Gina

      P.S. – My spouse, Heidi, tells me she agrees with you!

    • Oh, Charles, I forgot to answer your question about how I took the video. I used a handheld digital camera on the video setting.

      And Happy Birthday!

      Gina

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