Continuing the Westfield, MA, Columbia Greenway Rail Trail theme, we move on to what’s coming next in the trail’s development.
During Winter, 2011-2012, Westfield has begun to see the final stages of the rebuilding with the completion of the Great River Bridge, installation of a lovely clock tower, and other decorative touches. Many grants of funds in support of the rail trail have also been announced and put to work extending the rail trail from its current end at Shaker Farms Road closer to downtown.
The city is also advertising for bids for construction of its first phase of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail project that will extend from the Southwick line to a location near South Broad Street. The state’s Department of Environment and Conservation, headed by former Mayor Richard K. Sullivan Jr., recently awarded Westfield $1 million for that project. That phase of the trail is scheduled for completion by July 1, and city officials will seek additional state funding to continue the trail to the Great River Bridge at Depot Square. [emphasis added]
When we rode the trail on July 11, the portion south of Shaker Farms Road was completed, and crews were working on the section north. From our vantage point on the south side, we could see asphalted trail which looked bikeable.
Only the kinds of amenities seen on the southern portion seemed lacking. Admittedly, we could not see up the trail very far. So even though the July 1 completion date wasn’t met, the finish date can’t be that far off.
I wrote about Westfield’s rail trail development plans in January. Where this all fits in the Western Massachusetts bike trail development is discussed my Northampton & Western MA Biking Resources page.