The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division are working together to rehabilitate of the oldest sections of the 10.6 mile Norwottuck Rail Trail, which extends from Northampton to Belchertown, MA.  Design funding has been provided through a state and federal partnership between DCR, MassDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration.  Funding for the planned $4 million construction phase will come from federal and state funds set aside by Congressman John Olver in a federal transportation bill and by MassDOT. 

The scope of work for upgrades and safety improvements includes excavating and repaving the existing trail surface, widening up to 10-feet where possible, cutting of the trailside roots, enhancing the road crossings, changing the alignment at the Route 9 tunnel, adding turn-arounds and other universal access improvements, re-decking bridges, enhancing and installing new parking, and upgrading trail signage and other amenities.

Norwottuck Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project Updates

Occasionally during the life of this project, DCR will send out project updates informing the public of upcoming meetings or project milestones. If you would like to receive these updates, please subscribe here.

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Project Update Status

November 5, 2014

Paving and Bridges Complete!
Route 116 to Southeast Street

As of this week, all paving and bridge rehabilitation between Route 116 and Southeast Street / Mill Lane in Amherst has been completed.  The contractor will be finishing up this section with additional fencing, line striping, signage, and landscaping.  Users can expect this section of the path to open up next week, weather permitting.

A Few More Closures Coming; Commuters Take Note
The final section of the reconstruction project, Southeast Street to Station Road in Amherst, is scheduled to close beginning next week.  During November, the contractor will be reconstructing the bridge over Hop Brook, approximately 1 mile west of Station Road, and so there will be no through access.  

We also expect to close the trail east of South Maple Street for a few days while the contractor installs stock fencing along the adjacent farm properties.

A potential detour is available on Route 116 and Mill Lane with return access to the trail at Southeast Street.  MassBike has posted potential detour information at https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=zo7mIE2b5EJY.ksqJjCggDt-I

Following completion of the above noted work, the contractor will vacate the site for the winter, resuming work in the Spring of 2015.

Current Anticipated Schedule and Closures:
At this time, we expect the following schedule of path closures.  All dates are subject to change.

 

Stage

Expected Closure

Type of Work

Possible On-Road Alternatives

Cross Path Rd., Hadley to East St., HadleyReopened! Fall, 2013Path re-paving, new parking and amenities 
Connecticut River Bridge to Cross PathReopened! May, 2014Bridge re-decking and repairs, path repaving. 
Damon Rd. parking lotReopened! May, 2014Redesign, expansion and repaving of the lot. 

East St., Hadley, to

South Maple St., Hadley

Reopened! May, 2014Repaving and boardwalk 
South Maple St., Hadley, to Rt. 116, AmherstReopened! July, 2014Repaving, bridge repair, and picnic area. 
Rt. 116, Amherst – Amherst College Erosion AreaReopening, expected November 10, 2014Excavation, repaving, bridge repair, and stream restoration. 
South Maple St., Hadley, to Rt. 116, AmherstMid-November for a few daysStock fence installationRoute 116, to Mill Valley Rd, to S Maple St.
South East St., Amherst to Station Rd., AmherstNovember 2014Reconstruction of Hop Brook bridgeSouth East St. to Station Rd.
South East St., Amherst to Station Rd., AmherstMarch, 2015 through June, 2015Excavation, repaving, and parking lot renovationSouth East St. to Station Rd.

 

More Information?

DCR will continue to post information, updated schedules, and closures on this project web page.

We will also provide email  updates via our Norwottuck Reconstruction ListServe.  You can sign up for the ListServ at the link below.

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Thank you for your patience and support.